Common Medical Emergencies and What to Do About It

Common Medical Emergencies and What to Do About It

Jan 01, 2020

Medical emergencies are common, affecting, on average, 136.3 million Americans every year. According to the Center for Disease Control, 145.5 million people visited the ER in 2016. 42.2 million were injury-related, while only 12.6 million required hospital admission. Most of these conditions were treated and discharged without any further complications.

The success of the ER visit can be attributed to the patient’s preparedness and response from the medical team. However, how you (the patient) handles the emergency can determine if you will recover or not.

Although we handle a variety of emergency medical conditions, here are the most common ones and tips on how to deal with them.

1. Heatstroke

Heatstroke or sunstroke is a serious condition as it can damage both the brain and internal organs. Sunstroke affects people over 50 years, but can also occur in young athletes.

Heatstroke is caused by prolonged exposure to heat or high temperatures and is coupled with dehydration, which causes a drop in the body’s cooling system. The primary symptom of heatstroke is a high body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. You may also experience fainting, throbbing headaches, dizziness, red and dry skin, and rapid heartbeat.

When you notice these symptoms, call 911 or drive the person to the hospital because delaying medical assistance can be fatal. As you wait for the emergency help, initiate first aid by moving the person to a cool environment, remove unnecessary clothing, apply ice packs, or immerse the person in a pool of cool water.

2. Chest pain

Chest pain varies from person to person. The specific cause of chest pain is hard to determine; it may be caused by stress, pulmonary embolism, or heart, but it’s hard to tell. That’s why we recommend that you visit our emergency room in Austin for proper assessment and treatment.

Additionally, perform a CPR if the person is unconscious. If you don’t have the CPR training, then chest compressions can suffice. You can also use an automated external defibrillator.

3. Asthma

If you or your loved one is asthmatic, you should be prepared for an emergency at any time. Start by knowing the symptoms of an emergency asthma attack.

Some symptoms include feeling out-breath, anxiety, trouble walking or talking, bluish lips, exhaustion, or unconsciousness.

When you have an asthma attack, you need to call for help and use an emergency inhaler as prescribed. Furthermore, take the peak flow reading if possible (your doctor should show you the different zone and peak flow).

4.   Fracture and dislocations

A fracture or a broken bone is a medical emergency and should be treated as such. Visit our emergency room in 78741 immediately a fracture occurs. Also, call us if the person is unresponsive, isn’t moving or breathing. You can begin CPR if they don’t have a heartbeat or are not breathing.

In the meantime, as you wait for emergency assistance, stop bleeding, immobilize the broken limb, apply ice to reduce swelling, and elevate the legs if the person feels faint.

5. Allergic reactions

Anaphylaxis is a serious form of an allergic reaction, and it occurs in minutes after you are exposed to an allergen. Anaphylaxis can lead to respiratory distress, unconsciousness, and cardiac arrest.

If you experience these symptoms, you need to call us immediately, use epinephrine, keep calm, elevate your legs about 12 inches, and wear loose clothing.

Don’t give oral medications, food, or anything to drink, and don’t lift the head, especially if the person has difficulty breathing.

6.  Severe bleeding

Bleeding can occur at any part of the body either internally or externally. When you have severe bleeding, call for help, and perform first aid. Remove any debris or clothing on the wound, stop the bleeding using a sterile bandage, cover them with a rug to prevent loss of heat, and immobilize the affected limb.

At our emergency room in Austin, we also treat other medical emergencies, from seizures to fever and flu. If you are not certain about a medical condition, it is crucial to visit our ER for assessment and treatment.

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