We tend to be able to control a lot of different things in our lives - except, largely, for our health. Some of us are born with hereditary conditions that we have no choice but to live with, and some of us develop illnesses purely by chance. For the most part, serious health scares are fairly rare and we can generally stay on top of our health at a reasonable pace. However, it is always worth knowing exactly what to do in an emergency, or if you are on limited time. A culture of denial has developed in many people where they ignore any health niggles they have, no matter how frequent they become. This can ultimately lead to a serious health issue that often requires emergency care - whereas if it had been caught early, it could have easily been sorted out. At the other end of the spectrum, however, certain symptoms can only present themselves at the very last minute, meaning that you or a loved one require emergency care that very second. We can all hope that none of us ever require emergency health care at all, but just in case we do, here are some situations you may need to be aware of.
Sudden chest pain is one of those things you simply cannot ignore. At its best, it's indigestion - at it's worst, it's a heart attack. Of course, many people feel embarrassed going to the emergency room and their condition turning out to just be indigestion. But, it's always better to be safe than sorry. The first thing to do is to consider the severity of your chest pain. If it is excruciating, or you feel a crushing feeling in your chest and the pain doesn't go away after a few minutes, call an ambulance. Never attempt to drive yourself to the hospital with severe chest pain. But try not to panic - not all chest pain is the sign of a heart attack. It could be something like angina, or it could be a completely minor health problem that you don't need to worry about. But it's always better to get it checked out just to make sure.
Something less common in terms of unusual emergencies is bleeding. The issue with bleeding is that often, it is hard to tell how serious it is. Many wounds can often seem worse than they are due to the amount of blood they produce, such as a nosebleed. However, try and judge each case on its merits. For example, a nosebleed is usually harmless, but if that person has a history of high blood pressure it might be worth going to a local emergency health care center. To find one near you, visit OurUrgentCare.com or a similar website, where you can find centers and even book appointments. Although if a lot of blood has been lost or the cut is deep, it is always advisable to go to the emergency room. Cuts like this are at risk or infection, so they need to be carefully sanitized by a professional. Up to that point, you can take a few steps - use something clean to put pressure on the cut to help stop the bleeding and encourage the patient to raise the cut above their shoulder, if that is possible. If something has penetrated the skin and that is why blood has been drawn, don't attempt to remove it yourself, as this could worsen the bleeding. Always wait until you have received professional advice.
Choking is one hazard that is present nearly every day of our lives, at various different moments. Many of us also choke regularly, maybe on a drink that we drank too fast or on a piece of food that we didn't chew well enough. But nine times out of ten, our bodies easily dislodge the food and we carry on as normal. But what about the circumstances where someone cannot dislodge the blockage on their own? You will be able to tell when someone is properly choking, rather than just coughing, because of what sound they make. When someone is coughing, you will be able to hear it - air is circulating, which is what makes the coughing noise we are all accustomed to. But when someone is actually choking, they won't make any noise at all - which is why you can tell that the airways are blocked. They may also go very red in the face and visibly start to panic. In this scenario, you will be required to take special measures, such as giving abdominal thrusts. Always try and make sure that the stuck item comes out of the person's mouth, rather than being pushed further down their windpipe. If you are struggling to help them or if they go unconscious, call 911 immediately.
The importance of mental health has been given a lot of publicity over recent years, which is what has helped to break some of the stigma around this previously sheltered issue. We don't often think of mental illnesses as being the type of ailments that require emergency care, like a heart attack or a physical injury would. But the truth is that mental health emergencies can happen all the time, and they can have a knock on effect to your physical health too. Panic attacks are a common sign of increased anxiety levels, and many people find that they are a very scary experience. If you or someone you know has been showing signs of severe anxiety or depression and is at risk of harm, make sure you go to an emergency clinic as soon as possible, before the condition gets any worse. If you personally suffer with mental health problems, make sure you have a support network of people you know and trust who will be able to take accompany you to the hospital and help to keep you calm. Requiring emergency care is nothing to be ashamed about whatever your ailment is, as you can't put a price on good health.