The best way to handle an emergency is to be prepared.
You could save your own life or the life of someone you love by equipping yourself to deal with medical emergencies. Awareness, education, and thoughtful planning are key strategies.
- Take a first aid class and learn CPR.
- Keep a well-stocked first aid kit; check it regularly to make sure medicine isn’t expired.
- Talk with your family and make a plan. Make sure your children know how to call for help.
- Know where your nearest ED is located and always carry insurance cards with you.
- Memorize emergency numbers or have them posted where you can easily find them.
Emergency numbers for the United Arab Emirates:
Sometimes a crisis is expected.
People who have severe allergies or other medical conditions live with the knowledge that they could have a medical emergency. It is critically important for them to:
- Understand their condition and be familiar with unsafe situations or warning signs.
- Keep any necessary equipment or medicine accessible.
- Make a habit of informing care providers of any restrictions or special needs.
- Complete an advance directive and add a copy to their medical record.
The situations that pose a life threatening risk aren’t always obvious.
Dr Jose Lopez, Chief of the Emergency Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has some good advice for those who may be unsure, “Most of us expect to go to the Emergency Department if we have been injured, but other problems can be less clear. There are some signs and symptoms which could represent a medical emergency":
- Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
- Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure lasting two minutes or more
- Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness
- Changes in vision
- Difficulty speaking
- Confusion or changes in mental status, unusual behavior, difficulty waking
- Any sudden or severe pain
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Severe or persistent vomiting and diarrhea for 4+ hours
- Coughing or vomiting blood
- Unusual abdominal pain
If you aren’t sure, it is best to play it safe and go to the Emergency Department. Don’t hesitate to contact an ambulance if you require the immediate help.
Go for the right reasons.
If you are sure your symptoms aren’t serious and you do not require immediate attention, it is best to book an appointment with your usual doctor or specialist. By doing so, you can make it easier for people who are seriously sick or injured to be prioritized and to be seen quickly.
Feel free to learn more about Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Emergency Medicine Institute.