Your Guide to What Counts as a Medical Emergency

Dec 06, 18 Your Guide to What Counts as a Medical Emergency

What constitutes a medical emergency? It’s a question many people find themselves asking when their health takes a turn for the worse. If you’re not sure if common scenarios faced by yourself or your family require emergency medical transport and attention, here’s your quick guide to what’s truly an emergency – and what can wait until the doctor opens.

What is a Medical Emergency?

According to several sources – including Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the Prudent Layperson Act, and many more – a medical emergency is any sudden change in a person’s health for the worse. Unfortunately, a change in your health isn’t always easy to understand or even notice. That’s why monitoring your own or your loved one’s body for signs of trouble can be life-saving.

Seeing the Signs

The American College of Emergency Physicians offers the following as a list of potential signs of a medical emergency:

  • Chest pain
  • Fainting, loss of consciousness
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood
  • Head or spine injuries
  • Choking
  • Bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sever and unabating abdominal pain
  • Noticeable change in mental capacity
  • Unceasing vomiting that persists for hours without slowing
  • Automotive or other serious injuries
  • The desire to harm oneself or commit suicide
  • Ingestion of a poisonous or toxic substance

Experiencing any of these conditions requires immediate medical attention. First response medical attention should be given, including CPR, choking response, or whatever treatment is appropriate. Whether this is available or not, emergency medical transport should also be utilized to get a patient to the nearest hospital. Some hospitals have their own medical transport, while other cities or areas contract the service out to third-party transport companies. Regardless, 911 will typically put you in contact with whoever you need to talk to so that you or your loved one can get the care you need, fast.

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