Recognizing medical emergencies


According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, the following are warning signs of a medical emergency:

– Bleeding that will not stop

– Breathing problems (difficulty breathing, shortness of breath)

– Change in mental status (such as unusual behavior, confusion, difficulty arousing)

– Chest pain

– Choking

– Coughing up or vomiting blood

– Fainting or loss of consciousness

– Feeling of committing suicide or murder

– Head or spine injury

– Severe or persistent vomiting

– Sudden injury due to a motor vehicle accident, burns or smoke inhalation, near drowning, deep or large wound, etc.

– Sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body

– Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision

– Swallowing a poisonous substance

– Upper abdominal pain or pressure


Determine the location and quickest route to the nearest emergency department before an emergency happens.

Keep emergency phone numbers posted by the phone. Everyone in your household, including children, should know when and how to call these numbers. These numbers include:

– Fire department

– Police department police

– Poison control center

– Ambulance center

– Your doctors’ phone numbers

– Contact numbers for neighbors or nearby friends or relatives

– Work phone numbers

  • Know at which hospital(s) your doctor practices and, if practical, go there in an emergency.
  • ∗ Wear a medical identification tag if you have a chronic condition or look for one on a person who has any of the symptoms mentioned.
  • ∗ Get a personal emergency response system if you are elderly, especially if you live alone.