During medical emergency care, every second counts. That’s why it is so important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of severe illness or injury and be able to act accordingly. Listed below are some of the warning signs of a medical emergency as defined by the American College of Emergency Physicians.
- Severe and/or persistent vomiting can be the sign of a more serious illness and can quickly lead to dehydration.
- Breathing problems , such as difficulty breathing (a sign of anaphylaxis) or shortness of breath (a sign of heart attack), are both considered medical emergencies.
- Chest pain (angina) and shortness of breath can be signs of an impending heart attack.
- Heavy bleeding that will not stop even after pressure has been applied can lead to dangerous blood loss.
- Sudden changes in vision , weakness, dizziness, or numbness, especially on only one side of the body are all signs of a stroke. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted and can lead to brain damage or death.
- Severe depression and suicidal thoughts should be considered a medical emergency.
If you witness any of the above signs of an emergency, the most important thing to do is to remain calm and collected. Seriously consider calling 911 and performing necessary, standard first aid or CPR procedures if you have been trained in the techniques.
One of the best ways to remain calm during a medical emergency is to be prepared. When formulating emergency plans, consider making Good Samaritan Hospital your medical center of choice. Our Emergency Care Center is dedicated to assessing each patient’s individual needs and providing expert treatment as soon as possible. If you would like to find out more about our ER wait times and emergency services, call (408) 559-2011.