Almost everyone will have an emergency medical condition sometime in their lives. At these times everyone just wants to get help and survive. However, this is often easier said than done. For many, panic can still get the best of them, thereby forgetting the key techniques that can shape their survival. Remember that emergencies, as long as it was attended to right away, don’t always have to aggravate and cost lives.
But, what are the best things to do to get the help you need and get well? There are steps to take in treating an emergency medical condition that will make a difference.
What Is the Medical condition?
When we are injured or become ill, it is important to identify what is wrong and to decide if we will need urgent care. There are options for emergency care depending on how serious the condition may be. There are hospital emergency rooms, the local clinic, and urgent care clinics that have walk-in care available.
So, the first question that you should answer is to assess what the medical condition is. This identification is very important so you can easily explain to the medics if you call 911. This can speed up the emergency care process since the paramedics on board already know what to expect. Because you’re able to assess the medical condition, even before seeing the patient, the medics already made mental notes on how to prepare for the situation. Also, they’ve already spent the time to prepare the necessary equipment for revival, such as the AEDs.
When you are not sure how serious you or a family member’s condition is, the first step may be to call the family physician, the hospital, or the urgent care centre nearest you. The medical professionals who answer the phone can help you determine the seriousness of the health condition and the best action to take.
Urgent care clinics are relatively new and are a good alternative to the emergency room of a hospital. They have shorter wait times and cost less for care. They will send patients to the nearest hospital if the medical condition warrants it. But, they can treat many health emergencies.
The First Steps To Undertake
W hen an emergency happens, it’s important to stay calm. Then, follow through this timeline:
- Take a deep breath to calm yourself down.
- Count and tell yourself that you can handle the situation.
- Check the area and the person for any danger that could possibly aggravate the situation, and stay clear of this.
- Treat the medical emergency as a whole. Start with the part that needs the most care and end with the least important aspect of the emergency.
The last bullet, for instance, is very important, so that you can help stabilize the patient even before 911 arrives. In emergencies, time is of the essence and you wouldn’t want to risk losing time.
Common Emergency Conditions
These 5 medical conditions need urgent care:
1. Feeling weak, dizzy, ill, or fainting. These symptoms could be related to a heart condition, low blood sugar, diabetes, pregnancy, or heat-related health emergencies. Call 911 for help.
2. Chest pain. Always treat chest pain as a heart attack. Dial 911, check the person’s airway and breathing, check their pulse. It may be necessary to start CPR while waiting for help.
3. Emergency Choking. Someone coughing is breathing and is usually OK but if they stop coughing and turn red and stop breathing, someone should try doing the Heimlich maneuver.
4. Emergency bleeding. If this is from an injury and it scares you, call 911. If there is a lot of bleeding put direct pressure on the wound to slow bleeding. If it is a nosebleed from high blood pressure or another medical cause and seems serious apply pressure and call 911.
5. Emergency seizure. These can be caused by high fevers, stroke, or epilepsy. If the person falls down, clear people away from them and make sure they don’t injure themselves. Call 911.
Be Prepared For Emergencies
The best way to be prepared for medical emergencies is to educate yourself in advance for common medical emergencies. Know where the nearest emergency medical facilities are. When an emergency happens the best thing a responsible person can do is to stay calm and call for help. Adults and older children should learn to apply pressure to a bleeding wound, administer CPR, use a basic first aid kit, look for obstructed breathing, administer the Heimlich maneuver, and call for help.
It is important to be able to determine when an injury or medical condition is serious enough to call 911. Knowing when to call an ambulance and when to drive to the hospital in the family car can mean the difference between life and death. 911 operators or urgent care phone operators can help with that decision. One rule of thumb is if the condition scares you, call for help immediately.
No one really knows when an emergency will happen. Some of these emergencies can be minor, while some are life-threatening. Whatever the degree, the most important tip to have in mind always is to stay calm when it happens. Presence of mind is very important so you can think well of what your next step should be. Otherwise, you might just add to the chaos that the emergency already entails. Take note of the tips above as these might just spell the difference between life and death