Medical Information and Preparedness

It is best to be prepared in the case of a medical emergency during an investigation. Every team leader wants to make sure that no one gets hurt on her watch. If someone does get hurt or falls ill, there must be a plan to deal with the situation quickly and effectively. Most groups ask that their staff keep information about their medications, medical conditions, doctors, and emergency contacts up to date and on file in a sealed envelope. These envelopes are taken on investigations in case a medical emergency arises and someone needs treatment.

Something to Consider

If you have certain medical conditions, carefully consider how stressful it might be to meet up with something unexpected during an overnight vigil in a cold, dark house. Being a paranormal investigator is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for you if you have:

  • Heart problems

  • High blood pressure

  • Risk of stroke

  • Diabetes

  • Asthma

  • Any chronic, debilitating illness

Investigators with existing medical conditions should be sure that they have adequate medication with them to complete the investigation and have informed the team leader of these conditions.

Being Medically Prepared

The longer you traipse around dark houses in the middle of the night, the more likely you are to end up with a boo-boo or two. Sometimes investigators in the field are 20 miles from the nearest town and they have only themselves and their fellow investigators to count on if an emergency arises. Emergencies can be caused by the psychological or physical stress of the investigation or by an accident that happens on the scene.

Bring a first aid kit on every investigation. The first aid kit should contain these items:

  • Band-Aids and bandages

  • Aspirin and Tylenol

  • Antiseptics

  • Anti-itch cream

  • Water

If a site investigation was done beforehand, investigators will know of any hazards in the environment, which can range from asbestos contamination to the possibility of snakebite — both unlikely. If someone on your team is bitten by something poisonous, bring its body to the emergency room if possible so it can be identified and the proper treatment administered.

Some groups keep epinephrine in the first aid kit. Anaphylactic shock can occur if an airway becomes obstructed due to bee stings or other shock reactions. Epinephrine keeps the airway from closing completely and can save someone's life until you can get him to an emergency room.

If at all possible, park as close to the site as you can. In case of emergency, you can get to a vehicle and to a hospital much faster.

Release Forms

Most groups now insist that members sign a medical consent form disclosing any treatment they are undergoing and listing any prescriptions they are taking and conditions that might cause problems in the course of an investigation. A separate form releases the organization from liability in the event the person is injured during the investigation.

SAMPLE RELEASE FORM

I, the undersigned, agree that in signing this document I release _________, its members, and their families of my own free will from any and all responsibility for any and all damage that may occur to me and personal property during the course of the investigation. I furthermore and of my own free will release _________, its members, and their families of any and all responsibility whatsoever for any physical or psychological harm that may at any time come to me as a result of attending and observing an investigation involving paranormal phenomena.

I acknowledge and understand that _________ will not in any way be held responsible for any medical or hospital costs associated with injuries or illnesses I may sustain in the course of the investigation.

In signing this release, I acknowledge that I waive liability and will hold _________ harmless for any injury arising from my participation.

I have read this agreement, understand it, and sign it voluntarily as my own free act and deed; no oral representations, statements, or inducements, apart from the foregoing written agreement, have been made.

I am at least eighteen (18) years of age and fully competent; and I execute this release for full, adequate, and complete consideration fully intending to be bound by same.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I _________ have hereunto set my hand on this _____ day of _____ in the year _____.

Signature: ____________________ Date: ______

Witness: ____________________ Date: ______

Organizations that do not ask observers and participants in an investigation to sign such forms are putting themselves at grave legal risk. If the parties involved are minors, their parents or guardians must sign the release form.

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