Be prepared for a medical emergency in Shanghai

Medical emergenices are never something you want to have to en- counter, but accidents happen and when they do, you definitely want to be prepared. Whether it’s having an emergency action plan for your family, learning CPR, or having crucial emergency contact numbers stored in your phone, there are so many things you can do to make sure that when and if an emergency arises, you’re well-prepared to handle the situation for your family.

Below is an emergecy checklist for you and your family:

  • Prepare an emergency action plan for your family.
  • Teach your children what to do. Make sure they understand when and how to call for help during an emergency.
  • Visit your nearest hospitals and emergency rooms so you know exactly where to go in an emergency and what to expect. Consider registering in advance, just in case.
  • Keep at least ¥10,000 readily accessible.
  • Ensure you have a contact saved on your phone who can communicate effectively in Chinese.
  • Have a prepared list of your family’s medical history, previous conditions, known allergic reactions to medications, height, weight ,and blood type (English and Chinese).
  • Learn basic first aid and CPR skills.
  • Register with your country’s consulate and save their emergency hotline on your phone.
  • Have a card in English and Chinese that reads: “Please take me to the hospital.” Include the name of your preferred hospital, its address, and phone number. Also include the phone number of emergency services (police, fire, ambulance), your name, your next-of-kin and your insurance policy information.

    First Aid

    How the first person on the scene responds to an emergency can mean the difference between life and death. Knowing basic first aid and CPR skills may save a life.

    Contact the following organizations or your preferred medical provider for course details.

    First Aid Classes
    First-Aid China provides first aid, CPR, AED, and parent and caregiver safety training courses in Shanghai.

    CPR Shanghai is one of the certified American Heart Association (AHA) training centers providing life support training, such as CPR and AED, to healthcare providers and the public.

    Community Center Shanghai offers health-related talks and classes, including CPR and first aid. Check the website for regular updates and class schedules.

    American Medical Center offers first aid courses if an individual, group, or company requests one.

    First Aid Kits
    Every home and car needs a well-stocked first aid kit.

    Shanghai Home Safety

    Your living accommodations in Shanghai may be quite different from those in your home country and not adequately child-proofed for your family members. Prevent common, but potentially serious, injuries in the home by following these helpful tips:

    Make windows safe. Window screens are not strong enough to prevent falls. Especially if you live in an upper floor of an apartment building, be sure child-proof locks or window guards are installed. Keep furniture away from windows, especially in children’s rooms, and always supervise children around windows.

    Make floors safe. Flooring in Shanghai tends to be quite slippery – regardless of whether it’s wet or dry! Throw rugs are a big tripping and slipping hazard for the young and old alike, so tape or tack them to the floor, or eliminate them completely. Make your bath- room a no-slip zone and use rubber mats in the tub or shower. Use a bathmat with a nonskid bottom and clean up any water that splashes on floors immediately.

    Store safely. Be sure your ayi, friends, and family know your habits and methods for storing dangerous or poisonous items. Put sharp items like knives and any product with warning labels out of reach or in a locked cabinet, if necessary. Don’t keep medicines loose in bags, pockets, or drawers. Keep products in their original containers, and don’t use food containers for storage.

    Prevent burns. Set your hot water heater at 48° Celsius (120° Fahrenheit). Water hotter than this can cause burns rapidly in as quickly as two to three seconds.

    Make doors safe. Child-proof your home with adequate locks and safety gates to ensure children don’t unexpectedly “escape” to an elevator, upper floor balcony or beyond.

    Ambulance Services

    The Shanghai Ambulance Center manages all ambulances in the city. Call 120 for assistance any hour of the day or night. Learn your address in Chinese and the Chinese name of your preferred hospital at the very least, as operators may speak little to no English.

    When to call an ambulance?

    Ambulances in China may take considerable time to arrive on the scene and may not be equipped with sophisticated medical equipment or trained paramedics. Still, when someone has suffered an accident or injury, Dr Sisi Xu from Shanghai SKY Clinic recommends calling an ambulance. “Traumas require specialized transport. You can cause more harm if you just try to move the injured in a regular car.”

    An ambulance will be able to take you to your preferred hospital, with fees payable in cash on arrival. Depending on how far you are being taken, the service can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand renminbi.

    When to call a cab or use a private car?
    If someone requires urgent medical treatment, and it is safe to move them, the fastest way to get to a hospital is by taxi or private car. Always carrying a name card with the phone number and bilingual address of your preferred hospital, as well as your insurance card, ensures that you’ll be able to get where you need to go. You can always call your insurer’s emergency hotline for assistance when you need it, or to arrange billing or transfer to better facilities where possible.
    Consider subscribing to an on-demand private car app like Didi, which you can use in English and pay for using Alipay, WeChat, cash or card.

    Essential phone numbers
    • Shanghai Ambulance Center: 120
    • Shanghai Call Center: 962288 (free, over-the-phone interpreter in 10 languages)
    • Shanghai United Family Hospital: 2216 3999 (emergency only)

    Shanghai Emergency Rooms

    Not every hospital is equipped with emergency facilities, not every emergency room can treat life-threatening conditions, and few hospitals treat children under the age of 14.

    Where are pediatric emergency rooms?
    The two leading pediatric emergency rooms, equipped to man- age both trauma and non-trauma emergencies 24 hours a day, are:

    Children’s Hospital of Fudan University 复旦大学附属儿科医院
    399 Wanyuan Lu (near Gudai Lu), Minhang District 闵行区万源路399号

    Children’s Hospital of Shanghai 上海市儿童医院
    Lane 24, 1400 Beijing Xi Lu, Jing’an District 北京西路1400弄24号

    If your child needs emergency care arranging your own transport and going directly to one of these hospitals. “Trauma means a severe injury that requires immediate attention, a major accident, unconsciousness, severe burns, or heavy bleeding. Non-trauma cases are less severe, such as diarrhea, high fever, or vomiting,” she explains. For known non-trauma emergencies, visit any pediatric emergency room.

    Where to go for adult emergencies?
    For adult emergencies (over the age of 14), Shanghai SKY Clinic recommends Huashan Medical Center for its state-of-the-art facilities and convenient location. Zhongshan Hospital and Ruijin Hospital are also two great alternatives, (the latter which has a specialist burn unit), or you can visit other 3A-graded institutions. Ask your medical provider for their recommended course of action during an adult medical emergency.

    Which hospitals treat emergencies for all ages?
    Shanghai United Family Hospital (SUFH) is equipped to treat a range of trauma and non-trauma emergencies for patients of all ages, 24 hours a day. For services beyond their capabilities, patients are transferred to a specialist local hospital after their condition is stabilized, with billing and ongoing medical liaison managed by SUFH. You can call ahead at 2216 3999, as they offer 24-hour urgent care, but their ER hotline is only to be used in case of emergency.

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