Medical emergencies can happen anytime, so you should know how to recognize them and offer appropriate care before professional medical help arrives. Read on for four common medical emergencies and how to deal with them.
- Cardiovascular emergencies
Cardiovascular emergencies, including chest pains and heart attacks, may not be the most common medical emergencies but are life-threatening. A cardiovascular emergency occurs when blood supply to the heart is interrupted due to blood clots. Seniors and adults are more vulnerable to cardiovascular emergencies, but they can also occur in teenagers and kids less frequently. Some common signs of a cardiovascular emergency include:
- Discomfort or pain in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the shoulders or neck
Treating a cardiovascular emergency within the first hour can increase the chances of survival. To treat a heart attack before professional medical help arrives, you should;
- Give the victim an aspirin to reduce risks of clot formation
- Have the victim sit in a comfortable position
- Eliminate any tight clothing around the chest
- Administer Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for unconscious patients
Consider enrolling yourself for Basic Life Support (BLS) courses in a reputable medical school like Newcastle Training to boost your usefulness during a cardiovascular emergency.
- Bleeding or major cuts
Wounds and cuts are common occurrences in workplaces, schools, or homes. Bleeding can arise from these cuts and injuries, which can cause alarm. While you can treat some injuries with simple first-aid treatment and medicines, severe bruising and deep cuts require medical attention. Other signs that you need immediate medical help include;
- Uncontrollable bleeding even after administering first aid
- Visible bones or underlying tissue
- A stuck object within the cut or wound
Below are steps to follow in case of a major cut or bleeding before you get to the hospital;
- Place the victim in an ideal position while elevating the bleeding part, except for cases of fractured limbs. Avoid disturbing any formed clots.
- Where possible, expose the wound by removing clothing
- Remove visible foreign bodies that you can easily pick, then use a clean dressing to wipe off the wound
- Apply pressure to stop the bleeding
- Immobilize the affected area
Choking results from blocked windpipe, and it leads to shortness of breath. If you or someone close to you is choking, consider bending the shoulders and head forward to dislodge the object trapped on the respiratory tract. Do not hit the choking victim on the back, as this causes the trapped thing to move back into the windpipe. Instead, trigger vomiting to allow the choking victim to vomit the substance causing the blockage.
- Fits or seizures
Seizures or fits are common medical emergencies, especially for patients diagnosed with epilepsy. Seizures cause victims to experience uncontrollable and involuntary shaking, jerking, and twitching of the whole body or a specific part. A different form of seizure involves the inability to move or move minimal parts of the body and the eyes looking into space.
If someone close to you experiences a seizure, avoid putting anything in their mouth or restraining them. Instead, loosen the clothing around their necks, clear the area around them and stay with them until the seizure stops, then seek immediate medical attention.
Knowing how to handle a medical emergency can improve your loved one’s survival chances. Familiarize yourself with the above common emergencies and how to manage them to become more valuable during a medical crisis.