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10 Common Medical Emergencies

Medical emergencies can happen to anyone, anytime and anywhere. That’s why it’s crucial to prepare yourself for the unexpected. Below, we will cover ten of the most common medical emergencies, what to do if you experience any of these emergencies, and where to go for help.

1. Bleeding and Cuts

Most cuts can be treated at home by cleaning them with soap and water, applying pressure to the wound, and then covering it with a bandage. If the cut is more than a quarter inch deep, on the face, or bleeding heavily, seek medical help immediately.

2. Breathing Difficulties

If you are having difficulty breathing, seek medical help right away. Do not wait! Some common causes of breathing difficulties include asthma attacks, heart attacks, anaphylactic shock (a severe allergic reaction), and meningitis.

3. Severe Pain

Severe pain can be caused by a number of things such as heart attacks, strokes, broken bones, burns, and childbirth. Get emergency medical care if you are experiencing excruciating pain that does not go away after taking over-the-counter medication.

4. Heart Attack

A heart attack results when the blood supply to the heart is blocked. Heart attacks can occur due to a build-up of plaque in the arteries, a blood clot, or an injury to the heart. Heart attack symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and sweating. If you think you or someone else is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.

5. Stroke

A stroke results when the blood supply to the brain is blocked. This can be caused by a clot in an artery or bleeding in the brain. Stroke symptoms may include sudden paralysis or weakness (usually on one side of the body), sudden difficulty understanding speech or speaking, sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, sudden loss of balance or dizziness, and a sudden intense headache with no known cause. If you think you or another person might be having a stroke, call 911 at once.

6. Broken Bones

If you think you may have broken a bone, seek medical help right away. Do not try to move the bone back into place yourself. Symptoms of a broken bone can include pain, swelling, bruising, and deformity.

7. Burns

Burns are classified as first, second, or third-degree depending on how deep they go into the skin:

  • First-degree burns are the most superficial and cause redness and swelling.

  • Second-degree burns go deeper and cause blistering.

  • Third-degree burns are the deepest and damage all the layers of skin.

If you have a first or second-degree burn, you can treat it at home by running cool water over the area for ten minutes, applying a sterile bandage, and taking over-the-counter pain medication. If you have a third-degree burn, obtain medical help immediately.

8. Choking and Suffocation

If someone is choking, stand behind them and give them five sharp blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. If they are still choking, perform abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich maneuver). Start by standing behind the person and wrapping your arms around their waist. Make a fist with one hand and place it just above the person’s navel. Grasp your fist with your other hand. Then give quick, upward thrusts until the object is forced out of the airway and out of the mouth.

Also, Check Out This Video: How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver on Yourself

9. Drowning and Near-Drowning

If someone is drowning, call 911 immediately. Do not try to rescue them yourself unless you are absolutely certain you can do so safely. If you must rescue them, approach them from behind and pull them out of the water by their arms. If they are unresponsive, perform CPR.

10. Poisoning

If someone has been poisoned, call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Do not try to make them vomit unless instructed to do so by a medical professional. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, seizures, and difficulty breathing.

Prepare for Medical Emergencies

One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones is be prepared for a medical emergency. While no one can predict when an emergency will occur, being aware of the most common medical emergencies can help you be better equipped for action in the event that one does happen. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, PrimeCare Emergency Center is here to help.

Contact us today to learn more about how our compassionate and dedicated staff can help you: (682) 253-6655.