When is a Medical Condition an Emergency?
There are moments in our lives that can be life-changing. Medical emergencies rank high when it comes to these events. How can you know when something is life-threatening? Physical symptoms can come on overtime or they can appear suddenly. Age has a lot of impact on the diagnosis. Young children and the elderly are at a higher risk for complications from what starts out as an illness we’ve all experienced – and then things change. Accidents happen and people get sick. It’s part of being human. This blog series is meant to educate you on emergency protocols and when to get help when seconds matter.
What Kinds of Emergencies Require Immediate Attention by a Physician?
- Bleeding that will not stop as a result of accident or injury.
- Breathing problems: Symptoms that come on suddenly or complications from asthma or a respiratory illness.
- Change in mental status: Inability to remember simple things, extreme confusion, or a serious, sudden mental health issue.
- Chest pain: A chest pain that won’t go away or a sharp stabbing pain on the left side, sometimes accompanied by numbness or tingling in your arm.
- Choking: Not being able to breathe due to an obstructed airway.
- Coughing up or vomiting blood: Maybe a result of illness with respiratory symptoms or gastrointestinal issues.
- Fainting loss of consciousness: If you don’t know CPR, call 911. If the person revives (comes to) seek immediate emergency medical care.
- Head or spine injury: If a person is unconscious, call 911. If the injury results in paralysis or a change in mental health status, seek emergency immediate medical care.
- Swallowing poisonous substance: Call 911 and Poison Control. Make sure you have an emergency protocol for ingesting poison, especially with young children in the home.
- Dizziness, weakness or change in vision: Sudden onset of symptoms, especially in adults.
The Chain of Survival
Our facility sponsors free monthly American Heart Association CPR classes. We have helped hundreds of teachers, coaches, organizational leaders, and company employees learn CPR through this program. It is our way of giving back to those who matter most to us, our local families who depend on quality, life-saving emergency care. Register for CPR
Tips & Advice
Top 10 Most Common Emergencies
- Bleeding that will not stop
- Breathing problems
- Change in mental status
- Chest pain
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
- Fainting loss of consciousness
- Head or spin injury
- Swallowing poisonous substance
- Dizziness, weakness or change in vision
Being Prepared For CPR
What is CPR and How Can Knowing CPR Save a Life?
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. Immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest.
Keeping the blood flow active – even partially – extends the opportunity for a successful resuscitation once trained medical staff arrives on site.
What Should I Do If Someone Needs Help?
Most importantly, when someone is experiencing a medical emergency, you need to act quickly. A life may depend on it.
- Stay calm and call 911 immediately
- Engage in CPR if certified
- Use recovery position if there are no potential dangerous bodily injures
- Evaluate the scene to protect yourself and others from injury or danger.
- Be calm and reassuring.
- Do not move the person unless he or she is in imminent danger or unless you cannot provide assistance without moving the person.
- Get help. Call out for someone to phone 911 or, if the person does not need immediate assistance, make the call yourself.
- If the situation is a choking emergency, perform the Heimlich maneuver
- Look, listen, and feel for breathing
- Feel for a pulse to determine if the heart is beating.
- Control bleeding with direct pressure.
- Treat for shock.
If the person is unconscious, move him or her into the recovery position.
Call Your Local Emergency Number (911) If…
- The person’s condition is life-threatening or potentially life-threatening.
- If traffic or distance might cause delay for the patient to receive medical aid.
- If the individual needs treatment or equipment that only a paramedic has.
More on Medical Emergencies
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