Congenital heart defects (CHD), which affect both the structure and function of the heart, are the most common type of birth defect. Yet prior to the 1950’s, with no way to surgically repair the heart defects, CHD almost always led to an early death.
In my previous post we reviewed the importance of an advance care directive. Now let’s explore how you can create your own advance care directive, including the use of some helpful websites. I’ll also tell you about an additional important document – Physician’s Orders for Life-Sustain Treatment, most commonly referred to as a POLST.
I'm a bit slow in getting this out, but better late than never. Health Magazine interviewed me a while back, along with several other advocates. I thought they did a great job explaining what a health advocate does and how we can help members of marginalized communities.
Imagine this scenario: You've lying in a hospital bed on a ventilator (breathing machine). You've just had an unexpected heart attack. Your family is gathered around you. Do they know your wishes? Have you designated someone to make decisions on your behalf?
As a patient, your right to make informed health care decisions before receiving treatment or services is called "informed consent." In order for full informed consent to take place, you must completely understand the following (and be able to explain them in your own words, as opposed to just repeating medical jargon):
We've all been frustrated when referrals or authorizations don't happen as promised. There are fairly simple and straightforward steps you can take to facilitate this process to ensure you get the care you need in the time frame you need it.