IntroductionOne of the toughest jobs in the healthcare profession is working in the Emergency Medicine Department. Sometimes we call it as Causality. Here the men and women who work (nurses-doctors-support staff) have to handle any emergency that comes through the door, provide initial treatment and then formulate a plan. The fact is that those persons are trained to handle any emergency situations. But can you imagine a common man/woman without any medical background suffering an emergency ? I know most of us are not at all interested to imagine such a situation. Health emergencies often come out of the blue in a healthy looking individual or a pre-existing condition that directly or indirectly leading to an emergency. So if take a little care, we can handle such situations very easily.
If medical emergency occurs at homeYou should have a health record (sounds simple but many of us do not have it) for every family member that you can take it to the hospital in case of an emergency. Record your basic details, contacts, blood group, allergies, medications that are taken regularly, surgeries performed etc. Apart from the regular supply of tablets for fever, cough and cold, it's useful to have a small home kit that includes
In the case of Asthma or Heart diseasesMany people who suffer from Asthma or Heart diseases often carry their regular pills when they travel or on the move. It's often very useful to have a set of emergency medications in your bag or pocket and this came be life-saving. For example :
Asthmatic Attacks: This will worsen on exposure to pollen or dust. In such instances, there are common inhalers (bronchodilators and or steroid medications) and a spacer that proves very useful for a few minutes until you reach a hospital or able to see a doctor. Please check with your regular physician or doctor and it's worthwhile to keep it with you so that you can access it when you need it.
Chest Pain: We hear many reports of people suddenly dropping down with a heart attack and need urgent care - some survive, some sadly lose their lives. If someone has a background of coronary artery disease or have a less than normal heart function, there are certain tablets (blood thinners, medications which improve blood supply to the heart) that can be taken while the person is waiting to be transported to the nearest hospital. Please check with your family doctor or a cardiologist who can prescribe you these emergency medications after a check-up.
Facing a Medical emergencyEmergencies by definition do not have a set pattern but when it occurs life gets disturbed suddenly for a few hours- few months based on the nature of the medical emergency.
Some tips that are useful include
In the hospital or Medical centerThe healthcare team in the emergency department or acute care clinic do their best to address your illness and suggest investigations that help to treat you or reassure you that things are fine. For instance, chest pain could be a heart attack or a panic attack or a acidity related or sometimes because of a gallbladder disease. All these need tests to prove or disprove, doctors are not magicians who can tell the exact cause just be seeing you or holding your hand. Please try to get the basic care. If you have any doubts ask your family or friends to speak to the doctors and if you are still not happy then you can think about seeing another doctor.
ConclusionMedical emergencies are difficult times for the sufferer, immediate family and the treating doctors. All of us will have things to learn while dealing such emergencies. Lastly, if you have a health insurance policy, it's always advisable to notify the concerned authorities about the current emergency treated so that it helps you in the future insurance claims later on.