Not every layman is equipped to deal with medical emergencies; however it is essential for every person to know the bare essentials of how to go about handling a medical emergency. Some of the common types of medical emergencies include breathing difficulties, allergic reactions, seizures, heart attacks, loss of consciousness, stroke and physical injuries.
Preliminary steps to be taken when dealing with a medical emergency:
The subsequent steps will depend upon the type of medical emergency you are dealing with.
A person having difficulty drawing breath may be suffering from a serious medical condition such as asthma or an allergic reaction. You can help if:
In such a situation, help the individual sit upright or in a comfortable position. Next, help to administer the correct dosage of medicine.
Seizures or Convulsions
Apart from severe chest pain, symptoms of a heart attack may include subtle signs such as pain in the left shoulder and arm, shortness of breath, discomfort in the chest, cold sweat, nausea and lightheadedness. If you suspect that the victim is suffering from a heart attack, you should:
A stroke is caused by a blood clot or bleeding in the brain. It is a serious life-threatening emergency and the earlier it is treated the better the prognosis. Signs of a stroke are:
An injury may or may not be accompanied by bleeding. In case of bleeding, attempt to staunch the flow of blood by applying pressure at the site of bleeding. It is better to apply a bandage or a clean cloth to the site and to then apply pressure on it. Stopping bleeding is an important part of first aid and can improve the prognosis.
For cuts and scrapes, clean the wound with running tap water or using an antiseptic solution. Apply an antibiotic solution to the wound and apply a dressing. Before applying the antibiotic, check to see if the victim is allergic to antibiotics.