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Emergency 101

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 At what point does a fever or stomachache become a medical emergency? If you slice your finger with a knife, or you are having the worst headache you’ve ever had, should you seek emergency care? How do you know?

The following is advice for how to handle common emergency medical conditions. This section does not contain all the signs or symptoms of medical emergencies, and the advice is not intended to be a substitute for consulting with a medical professional. If you think you are experiencing a medical emergency, seek immediate medical attention.

Abdominal or belly pain can have many causes. It may be due to food poisoning, an intestinal or gall bladder obstruction, an infection or inflammation. It could also be appendicitis, a kidney stone or peptic ulcer disease.

Many drugs cause side effects, and certain medicines can trigger life threatening reactions allergic and non allergic in some people. Some medicines also interact with other medications and cause adverse drug reactions.

Anaphylaxis is a severe, life threatening, multisystemic allergic reaction that is triggered by common substances, such as foods, insect stings, medications and latex.

Although asthma and allergies are two separate conditions asthma is a chronic disease of the bronchial airtubes, whereas allergies involve an overreaction of the body’s disease fighting immune system the two conditions can be intertwined and often overlap.

Acute back problems may be experienced by almost everyone at some point in their lives. There are many causes of back pain, including accidents, muscle strains, sports injuries; acquired nerve, disc or muscle disorders; mechanical problems involving the spine; and infections and tumors.

Most bites and stings are easily treatable and non threatening. However, some insects, snakes, jellyfish and even humans can bite or break the skin and potentially introduce disease into your body.

Broken bones (also called fractures) are a common injury for adults and children. They may be caused by falls, motor vehicle crashes, direct blows and even intentional injuries, such as violence and child abuse.

About 4,000 people die each year in the United States from fire and burn injuries. Burns are one of the leading causes of childhood injury. They can be caused by scalding from hot liquids or cooking oils, contact with flames, or from overexposure to the sun.

Emergency physicians used a patient’s personal activity tracker and smartphone to identify the time his heart arrhythmia started, which allowed them to treat his new-onset atrial fibrillation with electrical cardioversion and discharge him home.

The recent and sudden deaths of several well-known celebrities from heart-related issues should focus everyone’s attention on the dangers of heart disease and knowing the symptoms of a serious problem.

ACEP recommends that the Heimlich Maneuver be employed only when a person is choking and his or her life is endangered by a windpipe obstruction.

Most cuts are minor, but it’s still important to care for them. Most can be treated by cleaning with soap and water and applying a clean bandage.

It is estimated that more than 20 million people in the United States have diabetes, with an estimated six million people being unaware they have it.

Earaches and ear infections can have a variety of causes – viral, bacterial and fungal – and can affect different parts of the ear.

Causes of electrical injury and shock include accidental exposure to household or appliance wiring, arcs from power lines, the severing of an electrical cord or sticking of foreign objects into an outlet (typically in the case of a young child).

Eye wounds and emergencies can include cuts and scratches, traumatic injuries from foreign objects, burns and chemical exposure (e.g., cleaning solutions, garden chemicals). Any of these conditions can potentially lead to vision loss if left untreated. Always wear eye protection.

Fainting is a loss of consciousness caused when the blood supply to the brain is momentarily interrupted. While typically sudden and alarming, it usually is not harmful (unless the person suffers fainting related injuries), and consciousness is typically regained quickly.

Fever by itself is not an illness, but a symptom for a range of medical conditions. It also can be a side effect of some medications. Fever is one of the most common reasons that parents visit an emergency department with a child.

In the United States approximately 10,000 people die each year from food poisoning, and many more become ill and require medical attention.

Young children, especially those under age five, sometimes put items, such as marbles, beads, dried beans, tiny button-shaped batteries or small toys in their ears, noses and mouths. It’s important to seek immediate medical attention to remove them, if they are not easily removable.

Head injuries can be caused by falls, motor vehicle crashes and even violence. It’s important to prevent injuries by buckling your seat belt in your car and wearing safety equipment, such as helmets, while biking or playing sports.

Headaches have a variety of causes. Some are caused by stress and muscle tension, while others may be caused by lack of sleep, a delayed meal, an injury or even foods (e.g., lack of caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, cheeses, nuts, food).

Heat related illness can be caused by overexposure to the sun or any situation that involves extreme heat. Young children and the elderly are most at risk, but anyone can be affected.

Hypothermia is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by overexposure to cold air or cold water. Although most people typically are not at risk of developing hypothermia, the condition can strike anyone, depending on their individual circumstances, weather conditions and level of exposure in a cold or wet environment.

Medical emergencies can be frightening and stressful. But knowing what to do in an emergency can help you effectively deal with the situation. Here you can find information about emergencies.

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