As a long-haul driver, you spend days and weeks in the truck and away from your home and family. Do you know what to do if you suddenly become ill while on the road?
Here are Dr. John’s “Big 5”- On the Road and Illness
1. Plan ahead before you get sick. Keep supplies in your truck. Do you have a thermometer that you know how to use? In addition, keep a medical kit in your cab with necessary over the counter supplies and medications to ease symptoms. In addition, keep sanitizer and cleaning supplies to use to disinfect the truck and avoid illness before it strikes.
2. Find a safe place to stop, and assess the situation. How sick are you? Contact your family and/or company dispatcher to make a plan. Make sure to let someone know where you are located. If you are at a truck stop, call inside to let them know where you are parked and your health symptoms. Do you need an ambulance or medical attention? We hear about drivers everyday in the bunk of the cab that are critically ill trying to “ride it out”. Don’t risk your life. Know when to ask for help!
3. The COVID 19 symptoms range from very mild to severe. If you experience fever, cough and difficulty breathing, please call your medical provider. This is especially important if you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID 19 or live in an area of widespread disease. It is important to call ahead for instructions. Do not show up at the physician’s office without alerting the office and taking important precautions as this can unnecessarily infect other people. If you do not have a health provider, contact Dr. John’s Medical (865) 438-0184.
4. If you become infected with COVID-19, you need to get off the road. Return home immediately or self-quarantine in the truck. Truckers are needed at this time to transport food and supplies. However, you risk your own health and those you encounter while delivering loads and visiting truck stops when you continue working while infected. The COVID-19 virus is currently a medical state of emergency due to the rapid spread of this life-threatening virus. Your decisions impact the safety of all of us.
5. Stay quarantined if you are infected. It can be difficult to refrain from getting back on the road. During these difficult economic times, the worry of lost income while dealing with a medical issue can be overwhelming. But, seek other resources such as St Christopher Fund or the government stimulus package, for assistance while out of work.