Knowing Exactly What to Do in a Medical Emergency
Medical emergencies are scary situations, and it may be difficult to recognize the proper course of action when you or a loved one is experiencing an urgent medical condition. Therefore, you should have a plan for responding to emergencies at home and in the workplace so that you and those around you can readily get the right care right away. Below you can get a look at how to react in different emergency situations so that you get appropriate care without utilizing unnecessary resources.
When to Call 9-1-1
Not all emergencies will require a 9-1-1 call for an ambulance. For conditions that are not life-threatening, you may be better off driving to the ER or taking a taxi if no one is available to drive you. These conditions might include broken bones, abdominal or chest pain, or skin irritation. If an injury has immobilized the patient and it is not possible to move the person without risk for further injury, 9-1-1 should be called.
What to Keep On-hand
It is important to understand that emergency facilities will not have your health history readily available, so information will need to be provided when you are admitted to the ER. If you are non-responsive, an ICE card could be integral to your care, since this can provide alerts of any existing health conditions, medications, or allergies that might affect your treatment. You might also want to store a list of emergency contacts on your phone and wear medical-alert jewelry for serious conditions or severe allergies.
When to Apply First Aid
Sometimes it may be necessary to apply direct pressure to a wound or make a splint for fractured limbs to alleviate symptoms and minimize damage on the way to the ER. In these situations, you should only use on-the-spot medical procedures that you have practiced before—especially for more specialized techniques like CPR. If you are uncertain of how to apply first aid, call 9-1-1 and wait for paramedics to arrive unless otherwise instructed by the operator.
At times when every second matters for your care, you will be glad to have Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in your neighborhood in Thousand Oaks. We strive to maintain the lowest wait times in our ER and Trauma Center , which you can see by visiting our website or calling (805) 497-2727.