A major surgery is an invasive operative procedure where organs are removed, the normal anatomy is changed, or joints are rebuilt with artificial parts. Some major surgery procedures include appendectomy, knee replacement, kidney transplant, gastric bypass, hip replacement, cardiovascular surgery, and many neurosurgeries.
After major surgeries there are often changes in anatomy or other issues that are important for EMTs and first responders to know about. Aside from the type and date of your major surgery, it’s also important to list other issues that might arise afterward.
Gastric Bypass is a procedure for weight loss in which the stomach is divided into a small upper pouch and a much larger lower remnant pouch. The small intestine is then rearranged to connect to both. Since the anatomy and overall health is changed so drastically during this major surgery, it’s important for first responders to know they should:
Limit the use of NSAIDs- NSAIDs are non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxin, among many others. NSAIDs are commonly used to treat headaches, muscle soreness, and mild fevers. After gastric bypass surgery doctors advise patients to avoid NSAIDs due to the irritation it can cause to the pouch over prolonged use.
Not insert a “blind” NG tube- During Gastric Bypass surgery, your stomach is stapled to create a small pouch and a passage for food to go around a section of your small intestine. Your stomach is shaped differently after a gastric bypass, and the walls of your pouch can easily be damaged by the NG tube if it's not inserted carefully. A doctor should insert the tube using a scope that allows him or her to see where the tube is going.
*Tip: NO BLIND NG TUBE or NO GASTRIC TUBE are common engravings on medical IDs for gastric bypass patients.*
Be cautious of your sugar intake- Simple sugars may cause a problem called Dumping Syndrome. This happens because food moves too quickly through the stomach and intestines. It can cause shaking, sweating, dizziness, rapid heart rate, and often severe diarrhea.
*Tip: Medical ID cuffs are adjustable and great for post-gastric bypass surgery weight loss.*
GASTRIC BYPASS 6/2012 (month and year of your major surgery)
NO BLIND NG TUBE
NO SUGARS, NO NSAIDS
After an organ transplant, it’s very important to alert first responders to your condition. First responders should:
Be aware of organ rejection- Transplant recipients are at risk of organ rejection, which is not something first responders routinely consider when treating a patient, but is a very important thing to know in order to treat the patient appropriately.
Take extra care to prevent infection- While first responders and EMTs take great caution to avoid infection, extra care and monitoring should be given to those with organ transplants. More severe complications can occur with infection in organ transplant patients.
Make sure the patient receives immunosuppressant drugs- After an organ transplant, the consistent use of immunosuppressant drugs is vital and needs to be taken into consideration during all treatment decisions.
Know you might already be on an antibiotic- Transplant patients are often on antibiotics which can cause allergic reactions even in people who have used the antibiotic many times before.
*Tip: Use the abbreviate TX and list the month and year of surgery to save space on your medical ID: KIDNEY TX 2/2012*
LIVER TX 4/2009
Implant or joint replacement
Although not all implants are considered major surgery, most require special attention in the event of an emergency. Since the majority of implants and joint replacements cannot be seen for the most part, wearing a medical ID is an important step to advocate for you when you cannot. First responders and ER personnel should know:
You shouldn’t have an MRI- MRIs are a very typical step in diagnosing an injury, but those who have heart stents cannot have MRIs because these and other metal heart devices (like pacemakers and artificial heart valves) can cause injury if exposed to MRI. People with prosthetics, implanted metal pins, IUDs, braces, and other metal implants also cannot have MRIs.
*Tip: Use the phrase NO MRI to let ER personnel know not to diagnose injury with an MRI.*
NO MRI, HEART STENT
ON BLOOD THINNERS
Tech IDs offer the ability to change and update your medical information when necessary. Ideal for those with changing medications, dosages, or health issues, Tech IDs offer a stylish and convenient way to keep your vital medical information up to date. Plus, Tech IDs offer up to three points of access for first responders: access to your online profile via web address, a live, 24/7 call center, or quick, instant access via a QR code.