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Ways to Handle Medical Emergencies
Life is unpredictable. You never really know when a medical emergency might strike. Most often, things happen at a pace that doesn’t leave us with much time to process it all. Therefore, it’s necessary to be prepared well in advance and know how to deal with it. Knowing what to do before the emergency medical services arrive can help you think more clearly and manage the situation in a much better way. Here are a few tips that will aid you to prepare for emergency situations:
Well-Equipped First-Aid Box
Your first aid box must contain everything – from antiseptic creams/solutions, gauzes, adhesive plasters, roller bandages, scissors, basic pain killers, thermometers to B.P monitor, etc. It must be kept at a place that’s safe and easy to access. Checking for the expiry dates and replacing the expired items is another aspect that mustn’t be missed.
This is important, especially for those suffering from some sort of chronic illness. Have a card enlisting important information such as your name, disease, list of medications, blood group, address, contact number of the person to contact in case of an emergency.
Invest In Medical Insurance
Healthcare can be costly, especially during medical emergencies. Therefore, it’s important to have a medical insurance. There are a number of health insurances available for you to choose from. Always read the terms and conditions before going for any insurance.
Improve Your Basic Knowledge
Knowing the symptoms of some of the most common emergencies can be the key to saving someone’s life. Seizures, breathing difficulties, heart attack, stroke, traumatic head injuries, and burns are some of the most common medical emergencies that you must know about.
Warning Signs of a Medical Emergency
- Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
- Difficulty speaking
- Sudden dizziness, weakness or fainting
- Sudden or severe pain
- Confusion or change in mental status
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Vision changes
- Suicidal or homicidal feelings
- Unusual abdominal pain
- Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
Dealing With Common Medical Emergencies
The first few hours are extremely critical. Acting on time can drastically improve one’s chances of survival. In case of a heart attack, have the person swallow an aspirin if they aren’t allergic to it. CPR isn’t generally required unless the victim gets a cardiac arrest which is recognized by unconsciousness and no breathing. If it happens, CPR must be given to keep the blood circulating until help arrives.
If the victim is finding it difficult to breathe, he/she must be taken to an open space. If they are wearing tight clothing, the same must be loosened immediately. Airway and pulse must be checked to determine if CPR can be administered. If required, give CPR until medical help arrives.
Seizures and Strokes
In case of seizures, make sure that the person isn’t surrounded by any dangerous objects. Cushion the victim’s head on a soft object and check for their breathing. The symptoms of stroke include facial and arm weakness, slurred speech, severe headache, dizziness, and blurred vision. If you notice any such symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
Depending on the type of burn, the first aid can vary. If it is due to heat, cold water must be poured until the pain is relieved. The wound must be covered with a sterile dressing. If an electric shock caused the burn, the power must be switched off before rescuing the victim. If the burn is due to spillage of chemicals, it must be cleaned with a gloved hand or cloth.