5 most common Medical Emergencies and ways to deal with them

Imagine you’re on your regular commute to work and you notice someone suddenly collapse on the footpath next to you. What would be your first reaction? Would you be able to help them?   Most people are clueless in such situations due to a lack of first aid knowledge. You might call an ambulance quickly, but what if it’s too late before the ambulance arrives?

The Importance of First-Aid:

  Did you know, approximately 17 million people die from cardiovascular diseases each year. Out of this 85% of deaths are contributed by heart attacks and strokes. Most people ignore the symptoms and others die due to a lack of immediate first aid. This is also the case for many other common medical emergencies. Ignorance and unpreparedness become the root cause of death in most emergencies.   First aid is a vital life skill that people need to acquire to quickly respond in the face of emergencies. You never know when you might be needed to save a life, so it’s always better to be prepared!  

A list of common medical emergencies and ways to deal with them:

1. Heart Attack:
Heart Attacks occur due to blockage in the artery supplying blood and oxygen to the heart. In 2016, India reported a total 63% of deaths due to non-communicable diseases among which, 27% were caused due to cardiovascular diseases.  

First Aid:
  • CPR if the person is unconscious
  • Use of an automated external defibrillator
  • Medication for chest pain (ONLY if previously prescribed by a professional)
2. Stroke:
  Approximately 1 out of 4 adults over the age of 25 are prone to have a stroke in their lifetime.  A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or the blood supply to a part of the brain is cut off due to clots or ruptures.

First Aid:
  • Use pillows under the head and shoulder and lay them on their side
  • Loosen tight clothing & cover them with a blanket
  • Do not give them any food or liquid
  • Time the symptoms if possible
3. Choking:
  Choking occurs when an object gets stuck in the throat or windpipe, obstructing the flow of air. It is the 4th leading cause of unintentional injury death. Choking is life-threatening as it completely blocks the upper airway which can kill a person within four to six minutes.

First Aid:
  • Give at least 5 strikes to the person’s back with the heel of your hand.
  • Perform 5 quick upward abdominal thrusts (known as Heimlich Maneuver).
  • Continue these steps until the obstructing object is forced out of the airway.
4. Severe Bleeding:
  One of the most common reasons for death in road accidents and injuries is severe bleeding (both external and internal). If a person loses more than 30% of their blood volume, the situation can become lethal within minutes.

First Aid:
  • Lie the person down.
  • Remove any clothing or debris from the wound.
  • Cover them to prevent loss of body heat.
  • Apply direct pressure to the wound with cloth or bandage.
5. Electric Shock
  Electric shocks are very common but can be threatening depending on the source voltage. Low voltage shocks due to minor faulty appliances are not as dangerous but if the voltage is high, electric shocks can be deadly.

First Aid:
  • Cut off the source of electricity.
  • Separate the person from the current with a non-conducive object (like a wooden stick or a plastic broom).
  • If the shock is severe and causes bleeding or unconsciousness, get help immediately.
      Emergencies can be unexpected and fatal but prompt action can help save a life. Calling an ambulance should be the first action one must take in any medical emergency and while you wait for medical help to arrive, you can follow these steps to aid the survival of the patient.  

BSIDEU is a valuable companion in all medical emergencies. Our prompt responsive services always keep us on our toes for you!   Face all medical emergencies bravely by learning your first aid well and for 24/7 medical emergency aid, download the BSIDEU app now!

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