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Cancer patient card for hospital emergency
Liz2000
15 Posts
Good morning everyone,

The other day somebody mentioned having this card to attend Emergency. Does anybody have any info on this. Called teleheath and they didn’t know anything about it.

Also, does anybody have any experience going to emergency to have the drainage and dressings check. Had my surgery a week ago but not comfortable with the clinic I was referred to for the checks. Went to my local hospital in Milton and they were wonderful but not sure if I can go back. I’m seeing the surgeon in another week.

Any suggestions?

Thank you and have a blessed day,
Liz
27 Replies
ACH2015
2437 Posts

Hi @Liz2000

I remember reading the post you mentioned, but could not find it.

I never received a card of any type. I don't think all cancer centers follow that protocol of issuing a cancer card, and perhaps this is something you could ask of your cancer center.

What I did for myself was to type up a sheet that detailed what type of cancer I had, the name of the cancer center, the name and contact info for the oncologist(s), the type of treatment I have had or are undergoing and any medications I am taking. I kept this with me at all times, and my wife also had a copy in case of need as well.

As long as you have this information with you, it will likely assist in any need to go to an ER for triage and sharing of important information.

Hope this helps.

ACH2015

Brighty
8591 Posts

@Liz2000 my fiance had a cancer card. He was given it by the hospital he was treated at. Whenever he had to go to emergency, (which was a lot..he fell all the time) he would show the card … and be taken in as priority over other patients in the waiting room. I would ask at tbe hospital you are being treated at. Might be a useful thing to have.


RBION
162 Posts

@Liz2000 my husband seems to collect special hospital cards related to various cancer treatments, he has four in his wallet and one of which is for emerg and came from our local hospital. On the front it says “Fever Card - for patients on chemotherapy treatment”. It also says ‘if your temperature is 38 or more go to the Emergency Dept closest to you’ and ‘give this Fever Card and a list of your medications to the dr or nurse in emerg’. The back provides guidance to the medical staff on prioritizing him. My husband always takes it when going to Emerg.

Liz2000
15 Posts

@Brighty thank you for your reply. Do you remember how did he get it? Where was issued? Wonderig if only certain hospitals issue this type of card.

Liz2000
15 Posts

@RBION thank you! I’ll check with my local hospital. Seems to me that should be something universal and beneficial not only for the pati but for the hospital as well.

Liz2000
15 Posts

@ACH2015 thank you! That’s a great idea!

Brighty
8591 Posts

@Liz2000 before my fiance went into chemo, he had to go for chemo teaching. He was issued a huge binder about everything he should and shouldn't do while going through chemo., possible side effects he could have and stuff like that…. In the binder there were some emergency numbers like the 24 hour nurse to call if the side effects were really bad….and the cancer card was also in the binder. I'm not sure all hospitals give one out, but doesnt hurt to ask.

RBION
162 Posts

@Liz2000 I agree the card idea could easily be universal throughout the health care system. The card we have is a paper business card, not laminated or made of plastic like our other hospital cards. It also has a psychological impact on the patient knowing the priority of their health issues will be taken into account immediately.

…and…

Welcome to Cancer Connections, I'm glad you found us!

Cyf
46 Posts

@Liz2000 I got the same card and I received it from my oncologist if I remember correctly. I thought it was to be used if I had a fever so I could get prioritized and isolated at the hospital. This was while I was on chemo.

Liz2000
15 Posts

@Brighty just had surgery last week and didn’t go for chemo prior to surgery. Now waiting for lab results to determine course of treatment. Thank you for your quick response! Cheers

Liz2000
15 Posts

@Cyf ok thank you! Have not been to an oncologist yet. Had surgery a week and waiting for lab results to determine course of treatment. Cheers

Liz2000
15 Posts

@RBION Absolutely I can’t agree more with the psychological effect… Its an assurance during a time where everything is very unclear… at least for me…

Heady
10 Posts

HI Liz,

I would ask to be transferred to another clinic (from another company), even if you have to drive to Georgetown or Oakville. With my first surgery the clinic I was referred to was not very friendly and I left crying. With my second surgery I asked to be referred to a different company in another town. It was a world of difference! They were so helpful and caring. I felt safe with them. In Ontario when your surgeon tells you they have signed you up for home care, it isn’t really home care…..you have to drive to them. They should call it what it is, so we know in advance and it would be nice if all these private companies provided the same level of care.

David B
20 Posts

@Liz2000 I got a card but it's specific to the brachy treatment. I was given it and followup instructions after treatment. Basically, I'm mildly radioactive so will set off airport security and there are certain medical procedures that are not advisable in the next while.

Provincial health authorities have your records so it's not a big deal when you head in. I suspect the mentioned card is used for emergency centers that tend to clog up to ensure you're not left sitting for hours. That's not normally an issue here.

@ACH2015 mentioned having a summary sheet. That can be a good idea when going to a new doc so they don't have to wade through everything. My mother maintained one. I've not done this but have typed up all the contacts. The list got surprisingly long.

JustJan
1807 Posts

@Liz2000 I was given a card when I started chemo. It was to be shown if I had to go emerg because of fever. My understanding was that they fast tracked you so antibiotics could be started as soon as possible. I had to go to emerg for a different reason and the card had no effect on the speed which I was seen.

Liz2000
15 Posts

@Heady
Thank you @Heady!

I have been to Milton hospital emergency and they have been incredibly nice and helpful. They told me to go anytime I need help with the drainages or surgery area.

Liz2000
15 Posts

@JustJan thank you! For now I should be ok. The last time I was at the hospital to check th drainages, they told me to go back anytime I need help and theyll be happy to help.
Thank you!

Liz2000
15 Posts

@Heady Personally, I think all these clinics are milking OHIP. The one I went too was filthy, mid August and still had the winter shoes tray by the door… With salt and debris on it… When I SAID FILTHY… I MEAN FILTHY… The once upon a time light blue chairs, were black on the sitting and back where the body touches… Not to mention the two nurses wearing street clothes and laughing for not understanding the doctor’s notes with the directions for my after care… Very politely I said thank you but I’m leaving now… And left… My daughter who was walking right behind me said their mouth just dropped…

Trillium
2221 Posts

@Liz2000 - my son also had the fever card like @Rbion mentioned. I had asked the oncologist if this card was also good for our local hospital or should we go to cancer clinic hospital ER. He assured me that our local hospital is a partner cancer clinic and are very familiar with the card.

My son has a brain disability and required my support with this. He also takes another medication that can cause Neutropenia https://cancer.ca/en/treatments/side-effects/low-white-blood-cell-count and his chemo treatment could also cause neutropenia and infection which is life threatening.

He did develop a high fever within an hour of us getting home from his chemo treatment. That being said with covid in full swing, I could not go into emerge with him but had copies of the drug information sheets and his other drugs and told him to give them to the triage nurse and show them his card. I also explained all of this to the security at the entrance and that his fever is an emergency! She did sit him away from other patients in the waiting room.

Because he was sitting so long for triage I had to call his disability care team nurse who then phoned emerge and identified him as her patient too ( which they also should identify ) to fast track him. Five minutes later he was admitted and spent a few days in hospital until they got his white blood cell counts to normal.

The nurses called me once a day to update me and I was able to bring things to the hospital for him and they had people who would deliver items to the patient. He then was on Lapelga injections at home and finished his last couple of chemo sessions.

NorVan65
12 Posts

@Liz2000 I hope your recovery is going okay. I also had surgery (mastectomy) for breast cancer with drains (that I squeezed and emptied) and that needed to be removed. I also required wound care, and eventually my staples needed removing.
I think if you’re comfortable at Milton hospital and they’ve invited you back (and you can tolerate the wait), then go there. Otherwise, you could go to an Urgent Care Centre. Best of luck.

Liz2000
15 Posts

@Trillium thank you for sharing your son’s journey. As a mom, I can not imagine your agony waiting for the dail phone call. Covid really did a number!

Cheers

Liz2000
15 Posts

@NorVan65 the last couple of days for some reason have been a bit uncomfortable… Waiting for the call from the surgeon with lab results… 🌺

NorVan65
12 Posts

@Liz2000 I hope they have you some pain medication. Don‘t be afraid to us the pain medications they gave you.

Gymrat
26 Posts

@Liz2000 I was given a little yellow card by my oncologist. When I collapsed my wife gave it to the EMTS and they relayed it to emerge when they got me there. The doctor immediately contacted my oncologist. It save my life because they diagnosed why I collapsed after talking to her!

Mosi
221 Posts

@Liz2000
My first appointment at TBCC in Calgary my oncologist gave me a cancer card as well as a letter for Emergency should I have an elevation in temperature. I quickly discovered it does not get you to the front of the line at Tim’s 🤣 but was helpful for an emergency visit where my temperature spiked.

J1f2s3
50 Posts
I received my Fever Card on my first day of interview,at London Regional Cancer program in Ontario.When I had to go to Emergency Department while having treatment, I presented my Fever Card to the triage nurse. I was put first in line and was brought to an isolation room . The nursing staff and Doctors were excellent in my care and spoke on my treatment plan with my Chemotherapy Oncologist.

@Mosi- Thanks for the smile this am 😂

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