In life, accidents and illness happen regularly. Usually these things can be remedied with time and rest, both of which can happen at home. But in those times, when an accident or an illness is very serious, they call for a visit to an emergency room.
How can you tell when an accident or illness is of the seriousness that requires a visit to the emergency room? There is no hard-and-fast set of rules, but there are some things that fit under the heading of most likely needing emergency room care.
Injuries causing heavy bleeding
If there is an injury that causes heavy bleeding that will not slow within a three to five minutes, this is the type of injury that needs to be seen by a medical professional. The injury can be anywhere on the body, but the key is that it’s a large wound, or a wound that will not stop bleeding, meaning that it is very deep. Quite often we cannot tell the severity of a wound by looking at it, but if it does not stop bleeding that’s an indication that the wound is very serious. You should call 911 immediately.
Seizures indicate that there is something wrong with a person’s brain or brain activity. There are a myriad of reasons why someone might be having seizures. It could be anything from an allergic reaction to food, epilepsy, or even brain damage. When someone is having a seizure, it is not a good idea to try to diagnose the reasons why at home. Call 911 and be prepared to see a doctor.
Difficulty breathing is another symptom that could mean several different things, many of them very serious. If this happens for a prolonged period of time, the person needs to see a doctor immediately. The person could be suffering an asthma attack, a heart attack, a serious lung or throat infection, or symptoms related to a number of other serious ailments. Again, call 911 and have the operator take you through a series of questions related to the person’s breathing difficulties.
A weak rapid pulse
If someone is showing signs of a weak rapid pulse, it could indicate serious health issues. The problem could be a serious circulation problem, the beginnings of a heart attack, or issues with the person’s internal organs. A 911 operator is the best person to contact to advise you how to handle a person in this situation. It will undoubtedly end with a visit to an emergency room.
Any injury involving the neck head or back
Injuries involving the neck, head, and back, can be very severe and sometimes life-threatening. If someone sustains a significant injury to one of these areas of the body, it is imperative that a medical professional examine this person. Quite often the seriousness of an injury to one of these areas of the body is not apparent on site. A full medical examination including an x-ray, ultrasound, and/or MRI is needed. A 911 operator is trained to give you great advice on what you should do for someone who has sustained an injury to one of these areas of the body. So your first call should be to 911.
The emergency room is often looked at as a last resort, but it should be looked at as a first option depending upon the injury or illness. If you or someone around you has one of these injuries or illnesses do not hesitate to call 911, and be prepared to get the person to an emergency room immediately.