This post has been contributed by Mathews McGarry
Subjective feeling is quite an interesting thing. Namely, once we suffer an injury, we may either exaggerate its gravity or underestimate it completely. The only way to recognize the real gravitas of an injury in both yourself and others is to be guided by knowledge and not by subjective feeling. With this in mind, here are some of the conditions that require immediate emergency care, as well as some symptoms for you to recognize them by.
Life threatening emergencies
Let's start with the most important thing on the list. It is the only logical thing that any problem that may seem life threatening requires immediate emergency care. Sure, other problems that need medical assistance at the shortest notice will also be discussed later on, but there is a priority list. In other words, severe chest pain or difficulty breathing, serious head, neck or back injuries, pregnancy-related problems, as well as stab and gunshot wounds require utmost haste. Failure to react in these kinds of situations can have catastrophic consequences, so if you are ever to encounter or experience any of these conditions, make sure to contact the nearest 24 hour emergency care center as soon as possible.
Heart attack and stroke
Not to underestimate the dangers of any injury, but an open wound, bleeding or food poisoning are things that are extremely easy to identify. Unfortunately, this is not the case with a heart attack and stroke, which doesn’t make these two ailments any less serious. In fact, on the list of the 10 most common causes of death, ischemic heart disease and stroke alone kill almost as much as the other 8 combined. The most reliable symptom of a heart attack is discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, while with stroke it is face drooping and numbness, arm weakness and of course, difficulty in speaking. In both of these situations, response time is of the essence.
When it comes to fractures and injuries caused by hurting yourself, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. First of all, the injured place is a determining factor. If the injury is on your back or neck, it might be better not to move since in this way you can make an injury even worse. In this situation, it would be best if someone else could make the emergency call. If however, the injury is on one of your extremities, you need to immobilize it and go to the emergency room as soon as possible.
With an injury, more often than not, pain will tell you all that you need to know about its gravity. In cases of bleeding, you need to stop it as soon as possible. Try to apply strong pressure above the injury with a belt, towel or any kind of cloth in order to slow down your circulation in that area, clean the injury and then bandage it. Still, if you have taken a strong hit but there is no blood in sight, it might be internal which is even more dangerous, so you will need to get this checked immediately by a physician.
Even if you lead the most hazard-free life, there is no guarantee that some of the aforementioned things will never happen to you. However, even if you manage to dodge the bullet, it might occur to someone in your closest vicinity. In those situations, you need to remain calm and follow a well determined course of action. Only in this way can some of these dangers be remedied in the right way, and a greater tragedy averted.