Mercy Emergency Centers
How do you tell the difference between a true emergency and a minor problem? Certain symptoms are so alarming that the need for emergency care -- or even an ambulance -- is obvious. But what should you do about more common illnesses and injuries?
Only a doctor can diagnose medical problems. But you can
protect your family's health by learning to recognize certain symptoms.
Know which symptoms to watch for. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, the following are warning signs of medical emergencies:
- Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
- Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
- Sudden dizziness, weakness or change in vision
- Change in mental status (such as unusual behavior, confusion, difficulty waking)
- Sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body
- Bleeding that won't stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
- Suicidal or homicidal feelings