What is a Medical Emergency?
While we all wish we could have excellent health devoid of any problems, chances are, every one of us has at one point or the other, had issues as far as their health is concerned. While most of the illnesses and injuries we suffer on a day to day may be minor, there are times when we may be in dire straits and may from a condition that is a medical emergency. A medical emergency, in a nutshell, and as explained by the subject matter experts over at FrontlineER.com, is a sudden injury or serious illness that requires immediate medical attention, and one which if not treated immediately, may be limb or life-threatening or may cause serious harm to you. A medical emergency requires one to head over to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible, or in cases where it could be more dangerous to have someone moved, calling 911 as soon as possible. The real challenge as far as medical emergencies are concerned is usually knowing which symptoms are actually a sign of one. Folks usually either overestimate their symptoms and end up going to the ER for conditions that aren’t medical emergencies or they underestimate their symptoms, and rather than going to an ER they end up doing themselves damage by delaying. This article should therefore come in handy as it will look to highlight conditions that should always be treated as medical emergencies.
One of the situations that should always be treated as a medical emergency is if one is presenting with symptoms that indicate that the brain is affected. Such conditions that affect normal brain function such as strokes and traumatic brain injuries should always be taken seriously as per the gurus over at FrontlineER.com. To this effect, some of the symptoms to look out for include general body weakness, numbness, seizures, severe headache, dizzy spells, vision loss on one or both eyes that may be lingering or just temporary, confusion, difficulties with speech, loss of consciousness, as well as paralysis of a body part or of one or both sides of the body. If you are having a number of the aforementioned symptoms and they seem to have come on suddenly without an explanation, you should call 911 immediately as this may indicate that you are suffering from a stroke. You should do the same if you are presenting with some of the above symptoms after having suffered a hit to the head; this could be a sign of severe concussion, especially if you passed out after the knock.
Another situation that should always be treated as a medical emergency is if you start to develop breathing problems. Here we are not talking about being short of breath after having taken part in an exercise drill or sporting activity, but breathing problems that appear suddenly and without any apparent reason. This is because breathing problems can be a sign of very serious conditions such as heart attacks, severe asthma attacks, pneumonia, emphysema among others. As per the subject matter experts over at FrontlineER.com, chocking should also be treated as a medical emergency as it also deprives the body of oxygen. Severe allergic reactions, due to swelling of the throat, blocks airways and as such should also be treated as a medical emergency. Signs of breathing problems usually include shallow breathing, wheezing, chest pains among others. Apart from difficulties breathing, symptoms indicating heart problems should also be taken as medical emergencies as heart attacks are life-threatening. Warning signs here include chest pain as mentioned above, pain in the arm, jaw, abdomen or other body parts, sweating, nausea and vomiting, as well as breathing problems as highlighted above. In such instances, don’t drive yourself to the ER but call 911 immediately.
Other than the above conditions, medical emergencies can be due to serious accidents causing serious injuries. For instance, severe bleeding, that can’t be stemmed, or bleeding that is of a squirting nature, should always be treated as a medical emergency as this can be life-threatening if one continues to lose blood. So, as per the experts over at FrontlineER.com, if bleeding can’t be stemmed by applying pressure, you should call 911 as soon as possible. Serious fractures, where bone has been displaced or broken and where broken bone is actually protruding out of the skin should also be treated as a medical emergency. Cases of severe burns, including chemical and electrical burns, should also be considered as medical emergencies, especially if you have suffered 3rd degree burns. Other situations that should be treated as medical emergencies include cases where one has swallowed or ingested poison, cases of drug overdoses, bites and stings by poisonous animals among others.
The above instances, especially cases of stroke and heart attack, should all be taken as medical emergencies, as per the subject matter experts over at FrontlineER.com, and one should ensure that they dial 911 as soon as possible so that to have the affected person be taken to an ER as soon as possible and be attended to.