Tag Archives: emergency

(QUIZ) Would You Recognize a Medical Emergency?

In a potential emergency situation, it can be difficult to make the call. You may wonder if you are overreacting by calling for help, or underreacting if you don’t. It is important to practice clear thinking and utilize common sense in a troublesome situation. Let’s take a look at some true or false statements about first aid below to see how you might do in an emergency today:

True or false:

  1. Medical emergencies are purely physical, such as an injury, and are almost always obvious to the naked eye.
  2. Fainting is considered to be a medical emergency.
  3. Suspected bones are painful, but do not constitute a medical emergency. You should just check in with your doctor as soon as you can get in to see him or her.
  4. If someone has an injury that leaves them severely mobility impaired (like an acute neck or back injury), you should move them to a comfortable location such as a stiff bed until help arrives.
  5. CPR stands for central practical recovery, and should be performed whether or not you’ve had training.
  6. If your child is exhibiting any odd signs such as clamminess, in combination with an unexplained change in demeanor, you should seek emergency medical treatment.
  7. While vomiting can potentially be an emergency, diarrhea is not a medical emergency. Just be sure to stay hydrated.
  8. An ‘emergency’ boils down to a subjective judgement call. If in doubt, always go to the ER.



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  1. FALSE. Suicidal thoughts or feelings are also a medical emergency. Changes in mental state such as unexplained confusion could also possibly indicate a medical emergency.
  2. TRUE. You don’t know why the person momentarily lost consciousness, therefor, it should be treated as an emergency so the attending medical team can determine if it is a crisis or if the person is okay.
  3. FALSE. Broken bones (or suspected broken bones) should be treated as an emergency and attended to as soon as possible.
  4. FALSE. If a person has serious mobility-impairing injuries you should not try to move them as that could cause much worse damage. You should try to make them comfortable where they are until help arrives.
  5. FALSE. CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and generally should be performed by a person who knows the proper technique, as it can cause damage in some situations. However, if the person is not breathing you will have to try it regardless of whether or not you’ve been trained. See the proper technique for reference here.
  6. TRUE. A baby or small child cannot tell you what is wrong, and it is so easy for a child to get their hands on a poisonous substance around the house when your back is turned. If your child is violently ill all of a sudden, shaking, clammy or experiencing any other out-of-character signs, you should seek immediate treatment.
  7. FALSE. Severe or prolonged diarrhea or vomiting, especially that which contains blood, should be treated as a medical emergency as it could indicate any number of serious underlying conditions.
  8. TRUE. It can be very hard to tell if something is critical or just appears serious momentarily, but if you’re ever unsure, it is best to check it out before things make a turn for the worst.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Aim to get your First Aid training soon so you will be ready to save a life if need be!




Know The Signs of Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially fatal diabetic condition whereby a person has an acutely elevated blood sugar level of 250 mg/dL or greater due to a severe lack of insulin combined with a surplus of ketones. This condition is most often a result of poorly managed diabetes or frequently missed insulin doses. Other emergency conditions can also throw the body out of whack, resulting in ketoacidosis, such as a heart attack, infection or other trauma.

Signs and Symptoms of Ketoacidosis

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Confusion or mood changes such as irritability
  • Weakness or faintness
  • Vomiting or inability to eat
  • Fruity smelling breath
  • Extremely dry skin, mouth or eyes
  • Tachycardia
  • Shortness of breath or rapid breathing
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Fever or chills
  • In extreme cases, the person may go into shock or a diabetic coma

Ketoacidosis in Children

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is the leading cause of death among diabetic children. Tragically each year, children die suddenly from what a parent, teacher or guardian may mistake as an infection or virus, but is actually severe ketoacidosis resulting from undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes. If a child under your care is exhibiting the above-mentioned symptoms, it is important to seek emergency care to rule out or confirm uncontrolled type 1 diabetes. It could very well be a simple infection, but it could just as easily be potentially-deadly ketoacidosis, so it is best to act fast.

If someone you are with is exhibiting the symptoms listed above, be sure to get emergency medical attention. If your child has diabetes be sure to know the signs of ketoacidosis to help prevent a crisis. Alternately, if you believe your child may have undiagnosed diabetes (check out the 7 major signs here), have them evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible to ensure they receive the proper medication and care.

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Know The Symptoms of a Heart Attack so You Can Act Fast

A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infraction, occurs when the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart is cut off or drastically reduced. This happens because of artherosclerosis, a build up of plaque on the artery walls which leads to narrow, hardened arteries and sometimes complete blockages. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, and approximately 730,000 Americans have a heart attack annually. Because of these startling numbers, it is vitally important to know the signs and symptoms of acute heart trouble so you can take immediate action and hopefully experience a better outcome.

What Are Common Symptoms Of A Heart Attack?

Some heart attacks are immediate but others come on gradually, so it is important to act quickly if you experience:

  1. Chest pain or discomfort (many women experience only a feeling of “pressure” in the chest)
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Nausea or vomiting (along with other symptoms)
  4. Unusual pain in your upper body like your shoulders, neck or jaw
  5. Upper stomach discomfort that may feel similar to heartburn
  6. Syncope (fainting)
  7. Extreme unexplained and sudden fatigue
  8. Cold sweats

Symptoms May be Different for Everyone

Other symptoms include anxiety or unexplained fear, light-headedness or faintness. It is also important to know that men are more likely to experience classic symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath, whereas many women experience less chest pain, more jaw pain and nausea.

Know the Difference Between a Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

While a heart attack often has several symptoms, as we mentioned above, a cardiac arrest is often more sudden and comes with little warning. According to ACLS Medical training, a cardiac arrest occurs when the natural electrical conduction of the heart is interrupted by an arrhythmia, causing the person to collapse until they are revived. A cardiac arrest can be fatal unless immediate CPR or emergency defibrillation action is taken.

Don’t Wait Around – Take Action!

If you (or a loved one) are experiencing the above listed symptoms, don’t try to be a hero by ‘waiting it out’. Take immediate action. Of those who die of heart attacks, half die within the first hour of symptoms before even reaching the hospital. The earlier you receive emergency medical treatment, the better your chances of a positive outcome. If the heart is without oxygenated blood for too long you could die or become severely disabled for life. If you are wrong and aren’t having a heart attack, there is no harm done by seeking treatment. So, know the signs, know your own body and act fast.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Stay happy and healthy!