Emergency Care for Urgent Situations: Headaches
Headaches are one of the most common medical conditions out there and chances are that most of us, if not all of us, have experienced a headache at one point or the other. When you are experiencing a headache, the pain may range from uncomfortable to painful or to downright debilitating in severe cases. Most cases of headaches however, are nothing to worry about as in most cases all you need is some rest with a little help from over-the-counter pain meds to help you handle the headache. This is usually the case if your headache is as a result of stress or maybe you just had a long, tiring day, which is something that most of us go through. However, there are cases where a headache may be much more than just a result of a long day at work and may be the sign of something more sinister and one that requires immediate emergency care. This are the ones that are usually difficult to respond to as they may be a sign of something life-threatening such as stroke, preeclampsia in pregnant women in their third trimester among others. Given such a situation may be very stressful, this article will look to highlight how you should respond to urgent situations involving headaches so as to enable you to avoid unwanted consequences.
The first thing to do as far as your headache is concerned in such a situation is to establish if you have ever experienced such a headache before. If it is the worst headache you have ever experienced, then you should call 911 for emergency services as soon as possible as this could be a sign of some very sinister medical conditions such as brain aneurysms. Therefore, if you are experiencing a thunderclap headache, or one that is the worst you have ever experienced in your life, then calling 911 should be the way to respond to such a situation. You should also ask yourself of the headache came on suddenly or not. Here, it is always recommended that you also call 911 if you begin to experience a sudden and severe headache. If the headache is extremely painful and debilitating and if it came on suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, then it is yet another sign that you need to dial up 911 for emergency care. In such situations, calling 911 is the way to proceed as you don’t want to drive yourself to the emergency room in such a condition.
Other than the above, another way to respond to an urgent situation involving a headache is to ask yourself if there is anything that may have triggered your headache. Here, if you started to experience a headache after having suffered injury or trauma to the head, then you should also seek emergency care as soon as possible by calling 911. This is because a headache due to physical injury or trauma to the head may be a sign of a concussion or traumatic brain injury and should be taken seriously. Therefore, if you have suffered a fall, motor vehicle accident, sports-related accident among others, all of which could have led to a knock to the head, and you begin to experience a headache, you should call 911 as soon as you can. Other than trauma to the head, if you are suspecting that your headache is as a result of drug interactions since it started as soon as you started to take certain medications, then you should also seek emergency care and head over to an emergency room as soon as possible. You shouldn’t ignore headaches and other symptoms that are due to medication side-effects as things could worsen pretty quickly. You should also ensure you take down information on which medication triggered the headache as you head over to seek emergency care.
During such a situation, you should also try to see if your headache is accompanied by other symptoms which may govern how you react to it. Always keep an eye out for symptoms of serious medical conditions such as strokes, meningitis, and preeclampsia among others. If the symptoms confirm one of these serious conditions, you should call 911 as soon as possible. Some of these symptoms include trouble with speech, an inability to lift up both arms, drooping on one side of the face that becomes pronounced when one smiles, problems with vision, nausea and vomiting, confusion among others all of which could indicate one is having a stroke. If one has a headache and it is accompanied by a stiff neck and fever, then it could be a sign of meningitis and should seek emergency care as well by calling 911. Pregnant women in their third trimester should also call 911 if they present with a headache as well as abdominal pain, confusion, anxiety, flashing spots in their vision and other vision issues, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing as well as a burning pain or sensation in their chest. Noting down the symptoms is important if you are experiencing an urgent situation as far as a headache is concerned.
Hopefully this article will help you know how to react to an urgent situation involving a headache and ensure you avoid any unwanted consequences.