Following weight loss surgery patients make a multitude of adjustments in their lives to accommodate the dietary and nutritional needs of an altered gastric digestive system. Even if weight loss has long been accomplished patients who have undergone gastric bypass, gastric banding or gastric sleeve surgical procedures must, for the rest of their life, maintain rigorous nutritional and dietary habits in order to be healthy. After time these adjustments feel like second nature to the patient and even those around them. But in preparing an emergency kit for use in the wake of a natural or national disaster it is essential that weight loss surgery patients treat themselves as "special needs" and ensure their nutritional and dietary needs are provided for in the event the emergency kit is put into service.
Flood, fire, national disaster, or the loss of power from high winds, snow, or ice frequently jeopardize the health and safety of thousands of Americans each year. This year weather events and natural disasters have been particularly harsh throughout the world and many thousands have found themselves without food, shelter or warmth. While we cannot prevent natural or national disasters we can assemble emergency supply kits to improve our survivability when disaster strikes.
A well-prepared basic emergency supply kit will contain items to provide for the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends the following items be included in a basic emergency supply kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for a least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Personal hygiene items
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers
- Vitamins and supplements for three days. Additional dosages of vitamins B and C may be included to relieve stress and boost immunity.
- Non-NSAID over-the-counter pain relief medicine. Most surgical weight loss patients are discouraged from using NSAID medication for pain relief. Make sure acceptable OTC pain relief is included in the First aid kit.
- Vitamin fortified or protein fortified powder drink mixes in individual packages. These are useful in adding minerals and nutrients to the diet while stretching the water supply because when mixed with the water rations they provide hydration and vitamin and mineral nutrition.
- Ready-to-Drink (RTD) and Ready-to-Eat (RTE) protein drinks and protein bars. A weight loss surgery patient must have a minimum of 60 grams protein per day for best health. Provide at least 60 grams of dietary protein per day for three days of emergency use.
- Sugar free hard candy to supplement food intake and keep the mouth moist.
- Additional bedding or clothing for warmth. Body temperature regulation is difficult for those having lost body weight or body mass. Provide extra items for warmth in the event of a disaster that subjects the weight loss surgery patient to extreme cold or elements.
- Emergency response information for the treatment of a bariatric patient including contact numbers. Make this information readily available to first responders.
Kaye Bailey (c) 2010 - All Rights Reserved
Kaye Bailey is an internationally recognized writer, speaker and weight loss surgery advocate. She is the author of the highly successful weight loss surgery back to basics plan: 5 Day Pouch Test and the 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual. Her follow-up book, Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test, was published in December 2009. It provides guidance for long-term weight and health management with all bariatric surgical procedures. Ms. Bailey is known for her powerful "you can do this" manner and her belief in the power of personal responsibility. She is the founder of LivingAfterWLS, LLC parent company to the LivingAfterWLS.com and 5daypouchtest.com websites. Supporting both websites is the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood, an online compassion-driven community for weight loss surgery, gastric bypass and gastric banding patients.
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Article Source: Emergency Preparedness For Weight Loss Surgery Patients