How to recognize a medical emergency

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It is important that you know how to distinguish the medical symptoms that require calling for emergency assistance. In most cases, victims are often afraid to call, believing that their medical complaints are not severe enough. When trying to decide to call emergency assistance or to go to the emergency department, it is better to decide to go than not.

medical emergencies
Call for emergency assistance for medical emergencies immediately.

There are certain conditions where you have to call emergency assistance, but it is important that you know how to recognize a medical emergency regardless of what the complaint is.

Problems with the brain

Certain medical conditions that cause changes in the functioning of the brain must be considered as emergencies. The complaints that can indicate a problem with the brain can occur abruptly such as:

  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Loss of vision
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Headaches

If these are present, it is important to seek emergency assistance right away in order to prevent the condition of the individual from deteriorating.

Breathing problems

When exercising, most experience shortness of breath but when that occurs without any reason, it is considered frightening. Oftentimes, victims do not recognize breathing emergencies. During choking incidents, the appropriate first aid measures can be delivered but if the individual loses consciousness, minimal oxygen is left in the bloodstream. Even allergic reactions that can lead to breathing difficulties can indicate anaphylaxis which is a life-threatening emergency.

Heart problems

Always remember that a heart attack is quite similar to indigestion. In some cases, there is no pain at all and only a weak heart that leads to shortness of breath or fainting. If you feel pain in the chest, especially one that could not be alleviated by rest or changing position, it is best to call for emergency assistance or simply go to the emergency department at the nearest hospital.

Severe bleeding

Controlling a bleeding episode is not difficult. Elevation and pressure is enough to stop majority of cuts from bleeding excessively. In case pressure could not stop the bleeding, perform the appropriate first aid measures and ask someone to call for emergency assistance. Using a tourniquet should only be the last resort. If the bleeding is excessive enough to make the individual weak or drowsy, follow the steps when dealing with shock and call for emergency assistance as soon as possible.

In some emergencies, all you need is common sense especially during fires or vehicular accidents. This is the reason why emergency assistance providers do not expect the victims to distinguish between emergencies and non-emergencies. Even minor complaints can cause life-changing consequences if not treated right away. In case you or a family member is experiencing a medical emergency, do not hesitate to call for emergency assistance or go straight to the emergency department at the nearest hospital.

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  • All stmarkjamestraining.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.