An emergency is any situation that places a person’s health in serious jeopardy.

Emergency situations include:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating
  • Severe breathing problems
  • Severe, uncontrolled bleeding
  • Symptoms of shock, such as pale, clammy skin, weakness, rapid heart rate
  • Possible spinal, neck or head injury

Specific examples of emergencies:

-Any symptoms of an allergic reaction following a bite; extreme breathing difficulty, constriction in the chest, swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue or throat, severe hives and itching or violent coughing

-If you are bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider or known poisonous insect

-Snake bite the breaks the skin

-Puncture wounds where bleeding is steady, profuse, or occurs in rhythmic spurts

-Signs of shock including: weakness; confusion; cold, pale, moist skin

-Open wounds that are deep and penetrates to muscle or bone

-An embedded object, such as a knife

- A head/spinal injury where:
A seizure or loss of consciousness occurred
Loss of bowel or bladder control
Visual changes occur or pupils are fixed or unequal
You have difficulty walking or speaking
Change in mental status such as (confusion, disorientation, extreme drowsiness or lack of   responsiveness)
An infant has a budging soft spot or cries for more then 15 minutes

- Broken Bones where:
The limb is cold, blue or numb
The pelvis or thigh is injured
Signs of shock (cool, clammy, pale skin, dizziness, light-headedness or thirst)
Bone protrudes through the skin
The injured part is crooked or deformed
Heavy bleeding occurs or blood spurts out

- Infected Wounds when:
Redness around the area has streaks leading away from it
Fever of 101F or higher
Tender or swollen lymph nodes

- A headache where there is:
Sudden confusion, trouble talking
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Trouble walking or loss of balance
Sudden/severe headache without cause

-Complete loss of consciousness

- An infant younger than 3 months has a rectal temperature of 100.4F (38C) or higher, even if the temperature becomes normal.

- A Cough when there is significant respiratory distress, such as:
A feeling of suffocation
Gasping or straining to get a breath
Bluish color to the lips or skin

- A Nosebleed and:
You are on an anticoagulant, taking aspirin frequently or have a bleeding disorder
Blood flows heavily down the back of your throat
Bleeding is heavy and lasts more then 30 minutes

- Palpitations and:
Shortness of breath
Crushing, squeezing or increasing pressure in the chest

- High Blood pressure and your Systolic pressure is 210 or 120 Diastolic and you have any of the following:
Visual changes
Drowsiness or confusion

-Chest pain and:
Crushing, squeezing or increasing pressure in your chest

Chest, jaw, neck, shoulder or arm discomfort occurs with:
Confusion, dizziness, weakness or fain feeling
Nausea or vomiting
Rapid, irregular pulse

- Asthma and:
Severe symptoms of respiratory distress
Chest pain
Out of control attack

Ref:  Care Wise Guide- Self Care from Head to Toe, Care Wise Inc, Seattle Washington

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