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How to Recognize a Medical Emergency

Recognizing an emergency is the first step in responding.
An emergency is a situation requiring immediate action. A medical emergency is a sudden illness which requires immediate medical attention.
imageAnyone can be the victim of an emergency. An emergency can happen anywhere.
You may become aware of an emergency because of certain things you observe such as unusual noises, sights, smells, symptoms and signs, or behaviour.
Noises are often the first thing you may call your attention to an emergency. Some noises that may indicate emergency are:
1. Screaming, yelling, moaning, crying, and calling for help.
2. Alarming identifiable noises, such as breaking glass, crashing metal or screeching tires.
3. Abrupt or loud noises that aren’t identifiable such as collapsing structures or falling ladders.
Some examples of sights that may signal emergencies are:
1. A stalled vehicle.
2. An overturned saucepan on the kitchen floor.
3. A spilled medicine container.
4. A fallen chair.
Many smells are part of our everyday lives. However, when a smell is stronger than usual, is not easily identifiable or otherwise seems odd, it may indicate an emergency.
You should always put your own safety first if you are in a situation in which there is unusual or very strong smell as many fumes are poisonous.
Certain symptoms and signs or behaviors could indicate an emergency. For example, if you see someone collapse to the floor, that person obviously requires your immediate attention.
However, you will not know if first aid is needed until you approach the individual, who may have merely slipped and not be in need of any help. On the other hand, the person may be unconscious and need immediate medical assistance.
Don’t forget: recognizing a medical emergency is the first step to acting.