When you or a loved one is suffering from a medical emergency, every second counts in the diagnosis and treatment of the illness or injury. Possibly as important as the medical treatment, however, is the recognition of serious symptoms and knowing when to seek professional help. Read on to learn more about when you should consider seeking emergency medical care .
- If you suspect symptoms of a heart attack:
The warning signs of a heart attack may include chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, nausea, light-headedness, or a cold sweat. A heart attack can lead to damage to the heart muscle and death—if you or a loved one experiences these symptoms, seriously consider seeking help as soon as possible.
- If you suspect symptoms of a stroke:
A stroke can cause permanent brain damage and death if not treated in time. The symptoms of a stroke can include dizziness, trouble speaking, paralysis or numbness on one side of the body, or sudden and severe headache.
- Bleeding that will not stop:
Bleeding that does not cease after constant pressure is applied may be a medical emergency and the victim should consider seeking medical attention immediately to prevent dangerous blood loss.
- Difficulty breathing:
Gasping, wheezing, or persistent coughing can be signs of anaphylaxis, a deadly allergic reaction that can cause the airway to close. Shortness of breath can also be a sign of a heart attack.
This list is not exhaustive; there are many other instances that can be described as a medical emergency. If you witness a medical emergency, be sure to stay calm and help to reassure those around you. Consider calling 911 or suggest that someone else do so. Learn how to perform basic lifesaving and first aid procedures in case they are called for—procedures such as CPR can give a victim the extra time they need until medical professionals arrive.
One of the best ways to be prepared for a medical emergency is to be aware of the closest emergency room that can bring you the highest quality of medical care as soon as possible. The emergency care personnel at Regional Medical Center of San Jose are dedicated to providing quality emergency medical care. Contact us at (408) 259-4000 to learn more about our services.