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Medical Information: Females Bear the Burden and Are Not Prepared


Emergency department personnel seem constantly complaining that many patients arrive unprepared to provide important medical information that may have an impact on their care. This manuscript reviews in detail some interesting findings from a study done to assess the completeness of information provided to emergency department personnel. The results reviewed suggest that, although both men and women are poorly prepared with information, the bulk of responsibility has men deferring to female relatives to provide information, regardless of race. The poorest responses were to questions about medical history and advance directives. The reasons for and potential approaches to remedy the information-based problems are reviewed.