Emergencies can happen anywhere – on the street, at a coffee shop, at the grocery store, at a game, at home. Do you know what to do in case of a medical emergency? Do you know how to help someone before the paramedics arrive?
Knowing what to do in a medical emergency can save a life. This is exactly why everyone should learn about the most common emergencies that can happen and what they should do to help. You never know – maybe someday you will find yourself in a situation where someone’s life depends on you and on how you act.
Therefore, take a look at what you should do to help in case of the following medical emergencies.
Dizziness and Fainting
If someone tells you that they feel dizzy or weak, and they feel like they are going to faint, you should make sure they sit down first, so that they don’t fall and hurt themselves. The next thing you should do is dial your local emergency number, since dizziness and fainting can be caused by diabetes, a heart condition, heart attack, low blood sugar, pregnancy or it can happen that the person has been out in the heat for a long time.
While waiting for the paramedics, you should check the person’s alertness and the level of orientation by asking them if they know where they are, for instance. You should also give them water or any fluids you can find. If they fainted or if they are unresponsive, you need to check for pulse and check their breathing.
If the person does not have a pulse and is not breathing, you need to perform CPR. Don’t be hesitant or scared if you’ve never done it before; the crucial thing is to stay calm and do anything you can to help. It’s way better than doing nothing.
Note: Before you start doing CPR, you must position the person’s head with their chin up in order to open their airway and then start doing chest compressions.
Many people will tell you to hit someone on their back if they’re coughing or choking. However, you should never do that, because you can only make the situation worse, as the food they are likely choking on can go back into the windpipe.
If someone dining next to you starts coughing, do nothing whatsoever, because there is air movement. If they stop making any airway noise, while getting red in the face, that is when the situation becomes an emergency.
The only thing you can do to help then is perform the Heimlich maneuver, so make sure you learn how to do it.
If someone near you says their chest hurts or if you see them grabbing their chest in pain, you should immediately dial your local emergency number, since chest pain is a serious medical emergency that almost always turns out to be a heart attack.
The next steps you should take is check the person’s breathing and circulation. If they don’t have a pulse and they are not breathing, you need to perform CPR.
If someone next to you is having a seizure, it can be due to epilepsy, a stroke or a high fever in children. The first and most important thing is to call for paramedics, but making sure the person doesn’t fall and hurt themselves is just as important.
Make sure the person having a seizure is lying down on their side, because lying on their back can close their airway and cause choking. After that, don’t hold or move them, since that can cause injury. Just wait for paramedics and pay attention to how long the seizure lasts, since that can be of great help to the doctors.
If someone next to you cuts their finger, for instance, and starts bleeding, you can help by putting direct pressure on the source of the bleeding. If it’s a minor and non-serious cut, the bleeding will stop quickly.
If it’s a deeper cut that needs to be closed with sutures, you need to either call for paramedics or take the person to the hospital. If you don’t have a gauze to put pressure with, use any kind of cloth you can get your hands on and keep it tight.
If a person near you is having a nosebleed, the only thing they should do is sit up straight and lean their head forward until the bleeding stops. Tilting their head back will only make them swallow the blood, so that should never be done.
Learning what to do if you ever find yourself in these common medical emergency situations can be of immense help, so make sure you are prepared, just in case. You can also try and get the ACLS certification, since that way you can gain additional skills and knowledge for emergency interventions.