It’s easy to have an excruciating headache and just suffer through it with some pain reliever, not really making anything of it. It’s also easy to get a paper cut and race to the hospital because you’re worried about excessive bleeding. A recent study shared by Health Education Solutions revealed that in 2008 alone, there were over 123 million trips to the ER, and that’s only counting America.
Deciding on an ER visit isn’t always so obvious, however; so here are some scenarios to help you figure out when you might need immediate medical attention.
How Much Bleeding is Too Much?
We all know that if a person is bleeding uncontrollably, a hospital visit is in order. How much effort do you put into trying to stop it yourself first, though? The Mayo Clinic suggests that you apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or gauze for at least 20 minutes, without lifting it up to check the wound. They also recommend elevating the person’s legs, in addition to the wounded area.
Time the bleeding wisely, though; because you can’t stop it, a doctor will need to. Also understand the wound itself. If you can see muscle or bone, skip the Band-Aid and head to the ER. Hopefully this one is obvious, but if you notice a change in a person’s behavior or functioning ability–meaning they’re unable to talk or walk, such as–go to the hospital!
Women, Watch Out for Heart Attacks
Hey ladies, did you know that while men have the typical symptoms of a heart attack (pain in the chest and left arm), females don’t? Health.com says that you need to be on the lookout for other signs, like feeling short of breath; dizzy, weak, or nauseous out of the blue; or mysterious tiredness and sweating. If you notice these, get to the hospital, stat!
Are You Talking Funny?
Are you having trouble pronouncing words? Is your speech slurred or jumbled? You might also notice that one side of your face has gone numb and is drooping, since you’re unable to control the muscles. Many of us might write off the irregular speech patterns (especially when they’re not accompanied by the numbness) as exhaustion, but you could potentially be having a stroke.
When a Rash isn’t Just a Rash
An itchy dry spot or a minor case of hives probably isn’t anything to fret over; but is your rash especially swollen and/or red? Could it have been a result of an insect or animal bite? An out of control rash could need a doctor’s expertise, especially if it popped up after a creature took a little nibble. Also take extra care if the rash is paired with a sore throat or fever. Finally, if a rash is so bad that the skin is breaking open, OR if it’s so bad that you’re scratching the skin off yourself, see your doctor immediately!
In any situation, no matter how serious you suspect it might be, one thing will always work in your favor: Stay calm! You can always call your hospital or doctor’s nurse hotline for help if you’re not yet sure what to do. Either way, someone will always be there to help in times of trouble.
Haley Brown writes for several healthcare sites. Having a kiosk at your place of business, especially a healthcare kiosk, can help promote health awareness.