Here’s a list of what to take and leave home when you go to the ER or stay in the hospital.
When you’re headed to the hospital in an emergency, the first thing on your mind may not be what you need to bring with you. But if you have enough time to gather what you need, either before you jump in a car or while you’re waiting for an ambulance, you’ll save yourself a few headaches when you get there. Of course, your health and safety is the number one priority, so if you are not able to bring anything with you or you need to tend to someone who is seriously sick or ill, that’s okay.
Here’s a list of what to bring with you when you go to the emergency room:
- Health insurance card
- Driver’s license, state ID card or passport
- The name of your primary care doctor and any specialists you may be seeing for a related condition
- A list of all medications and supplements you are taking (prescription and over the counter) – include the names, dosages and how often/when you take them
- A list of known allergies
- The name and phone number of your preferred pharmacy
- Credit card
You should leave any valuables at home, including cash, jewelry, purses and laptop computers. You may want to bring your cell phone (and a charger) with you in case you need to communicate with anyone while you are in the hospital.
If you need to stay in the hospital overnight or for a few days, you may need additional items, but you should not bring too much.
Here’s a list of what you may need if you are spending at least one night in the hospital (in addition to the items listed above):
- Comfortable clothes, including something to sleep in and a robe (although you may have to stay in a hospital gown during your stay)
- Slippers (although non-slip socks will be provided)
- Eyeglasses/contacts (and case)
- Dentures (and case)
- Hearing aids (and case)
- Cell phone and charger
- Books, magazines or a tablet
- Personal items that make you feel more comfortable
Keep in mind that anything of value should not be brought to the hospital. You may leave your room for tests or procedures and there are a lot of people coming in and out of your room on a daily basis so the safety of your items is not guaranteed. Anything personal that you need to keep with you should be clearly labeled so it is not accidently misplaced or removed.
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Date Last Reviewed: March 16, 2022
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Dietary Review: Perry Pitkow, MD