Learn to Identify Serious or Life Threatening Conditions

Knowing when to seek emergency care can be overwhelming. When faced with a life-threatening situation, such as loss of consciousness, breathing complications or serious trauma, most people know to call 911 right away. However, when it comes to illnesses not appearing life threatening, should you call 911? Keep reading to know when to go.

Among adults ages 40-60, the top five symptoms experienced by ER patients are: musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, circulatory, epidermis and respiratory complications. Learning the difference between deadly and non-deadly symptoms will make you better prepared to act accordingly during future stressful situations.

Musculoskeletal, includes any symptom involving your bones, ligaments or muscles. Conditions have an enormous and growing impact worldwide. Unless you are experiencing unbearable pain, broken bones or limp/numbness a trip to the ER is NOT recommended. Continual or annoying pain may not be an emergency but you should contact your primary care doctor to check out your condition.

Gastrointestinal describes the stomach and digestive tracks. Gastrointestinal complications can stem from a multitude of causes. Stomach pain can be linked to a variety of issues, from common constipation to Crohns disease. However, serious stomach pain should not be taken lightly. Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing: bloody diarrhea, extremely tender abdomen, intense chest pain or vomiting, fainting or difficulty breathing. Seek your primary care doctor if you experience burning during urination, loss of appetite, persistent diarrhea for more than five days, persistent fever above 100 degrees for more than three days and increasing stomach pain over two or more days.

Circulatory problems arise when blood flow to particular areas of the body is halted or blocked. Symptoms can occur in the head, arms, kidneys, stomach and other organs. Depending on the location of the blocked flow, organ failure, stroke and/or heart attack can occur. During blockage, you may experience heaviness, numbness and pain. Lifestyle choices can significantly decrease the chances of circulatory issues. Immediate medical attention is needed when experiencing extreme chest pain or pressure, difficulty breathing, sudden weakness or numbness on one side, slurred speech, loss of vision, inability to move a body part, confusion or loss of consciousness.

The epidermis, or our skin, is one of the most sensitive parts of your body. Knowing the difference between a life threatening skin condition and minor rash could save your life. Seek immediate medical attention if when experiencing a skin rash you also experience, tightness in the throat, wheezing or trouble breathing, swelling of the face or tongue, loss of consciousness or shortness of breath. Allergic reactions can be fatal if not treated properly. For other, milder skin concerns or rashes make an appointment with your primary care doctor.

Oxygen is vital. Experiencing difficulty breathing is a serious concern. Some common signs of respiratory emergencies include, abdominal noises (wheezing or gasping), breathing faster or slower than normal, breathing deeper and shallower, moist or pail skin that feels cool to touch, lightheadedness or tightness in chest. Hyperventilation and airway obstruction are the two most common causes of respiratory difficulty, which can result from a number of different reasons. If there are serious breathing concerns, seek medical help immediately.

Knowing the difference between non and life threatening conditions can help you better prepare for a medical emergency. Many of the mentioned emergency symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain and irregular bowl movements are similar and could very well indicate the need for immediate medical treatment but not always. Knowing the signs could help save yours or someone else’s life. To check symptoms, visit www.auroramed.com/er.