Save Your Life: What To Do In A Medical Emergency

If you or one of your family members hasn’t had a medical emergency, you are one of the lucky ones. Everyone knows someone who has had one: a broken bone, a burn, choking, a bee sting, a stroke. The list goes on and on. But for most people, the hope is that it will never happen to them. That’s why so many people don’t give it a lot of thought and aren’t prepared for a medical emergency.

If that sounds like you, here are three important questions you should be asking:

  • Would I recognize a medical emergency?
  • Would I know when to call 9-1-1?
  • What should I do after I call 9-1-1

Not knowing the answers to these three important questions is one of the main reasons people die in a medical emergency even though their death could be preventable.  Unfortunately, 40% of Americans don’t know a single symptom of a stroke even though it’s the third most common cause of death in the United States.

That’s why I, together with Shelly Glazier, have written a new book called “Save Your Life: What To Do In A Medical Emergency.” It’s a simple to read and easy to understand guide that answers the three important questions above.

Here are four important examples taken from our “Save Your Life” book to help you when you are faced with a medical emergency.

If you think there could be a medical emergency:

Should you:

  • Call your doctor?

No!  Waiting for the doctor to call back wastes valuable time.

  • Rest to see if you feel better?


No!
Waiting to see if the symptoms pass also wastes time that could save a life because the sooner you get medical care: the more likely you are to live.

  • Drive yourself to the hospital?

No! If you drive yourself to the hospital, you might pass out or stop breathing on the way.

  • Call a family member or friend for a ride to the hospital?

No!  Do not ask family or friends to drive you to the hospital (unless emergency services are not available). If you lose consciousness, your driver likely won’t be able to help you.

Here is why you should call 9-1-1 immediately whenever you think it’s an emergency:

  • When you call 9-1-1, the responding Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) will monitor you. If you stop breathing or your heart stops beating, they will give you emergency treatment on the way to the hospital.
  • They also will notify the emergency room staffs of your condition, so when you arrive they will know you need immediate treatment.
  • Calling 9-1-1 is the safest and fastest way to get medical care. Remember, car accidents are more likely to happen when family or friends are trying to rush you to the hospital.

People Often Ask…           

I’ve had many symptoms at one time or another that I worried could be an emergency. How will I know when to call 9-1-1?

The Answer Is…

Everyone knows how his or her own body normally feels. When your body starts to feel very unusual or strange, don’t try to diagnose the symptoms on your own. Call 9-1-1 immediately. For example, if you experience a sudden onset of extreme fatigue, or any other symptoms that you’ve never felt before, don’t ignore it. Call 9-1-1. It could be a heart attack.

The Center for 9-1-1 Says:  Make the right call.  If it could be life threatening or you’re not sure, don’t guess…call 9-1-1!

Earlier in this article I mentioned that only 40% of Americans know even one symptom of a stroke. Just in case you are one of them, here is what you need to remember to save someone’s life from a stroke. Remember the first letters; they spell the word FAST:

Common Symptoms of Stroke

The National Stroke Association’s “ACT FAST©” list can help you identify the symptoms of a stroke:

FACE    Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

ARMS   Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

SPEECH    Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Ask them to repeat a phrase. Are the words slurred or strange?

TIME    If the person shows any of these symptoms, time is important because brain cells die every second.

 

If you’d like to learn more or purchase the book go to Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/oE56BZ).

 

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About Mache Seibel

Mache Seibel, physician, speaker, author and consultant is one of America's most innovative health educators. He combines easy to understand health information with entertainment to help America stay well. Seibel's websites, www.DoctorSeibel.com and www.HealthRock.com include videos, eBooks, music, podcasts and more to help women and their families stay well. Dr. Seibel spent 19 years at Harvard Medical School and is currently a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Repeatedly voted by his peers into Best Doctors in America, he has authored over 200 articles and 14 books, most recently Save Your Life: What To Do In A Medical Emergency co-authored with Shelly Glazier and Eat to Defeat Menopause, co-authored with Karen Giblin. Contact: mache@DoctorSeibel.com 617.916.1880 233 Needham Street, Ste 300, Newton, MA 02464