An important part of family safety is knowing when to call 911, and when not to, as the woman in the following video proves.
Her life-threatening emergency?
She found herself trapped in her stalled car, in the Florida heat.
Presumably she was worried about heat stroke.
I won’t spoil the ending for you, but let’s just stay the 911 operator’s response was priceless.
However, there are medical conditions when 911 needs to be called no matter what.
Here are 6 medical emergencies where you shouldn’t wait to call in the medical professionals.
You need emergency medical help if a pain in the chest does not get better after 5 minutes, even with rest.
Make sure you have aspirin on hand in case the 911 operator tells you to give some to the person while waiting for the EMTs – but make sure there are no allergies to the drug.
When an item or drug is unintentionally swallowed, most commonly by children, you need to call 911 immediately.
Then, call the American Association of Poison Control Centers for further instruction while the ambulance is en route.
Do not try to induce vomiting unless specifically instructed to a poison control specialists. Never try to induce vomiting if the person is unconscious or if you know the item swallowed is corrosive.
An unexpected loss of coordination and balance may be caused by simple fatigue and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) to conditions that are more serious like a stroke or any conditions that impair the brain.
This is especially so for people who are usually nimble and agile.
So when someone suddenly has a hard time speaking or moving, that is when to call 911 right away.
Until medical help gets there, stay with the person and get him or her to sit or lie down to prevent injuries from falling.
Getting the heart rate down would also help, so encourage slow, deep breaths.
If someone who is asthmatic gets an attack and is unable to ease the ragged wheezing and has difficulty breathing despite using their inhaler, you need to call 911 immediately.
While waiting for the medical professionals to get there, try to help the person manage the asthmatic attack using the Gesret Method. This video shows how.
The Gesret Method is a technique developed by Frenchman Jacques Gesret after his 10-year-old son died of an asthmatic attack.
If an Epi-pen is available, consider using that as well.
Sudden change in consciousness
Call 911 immediately any time a person’s level of consciousness changes unexpectedly, even if you think it’s just because the victim stood up too quickly or didn’t have enough to eat.
A sudden loss of consciousness or fainting is often the result of a drop in blood pressure, which robs the brain of oxygen.
There are many reasons this can happen, such as anemia, improper blood circulation, and metabolic disorders.
The only exception is if you knew, for sure, that an altered mental state was due to intoxicants such as alcohol or drugs.
Seizures of any kind
There are many things that cause seizures, and almost all of them require advanced medical care.
There are some exceptions, but you should play it safe and call 911 any way.
Not every kind of seizure involves the violent shaking that you might see in the movies.
Those are known as grand (big) mal (bad) seizures, but there is another that is more sneaky.
They are referred to as petit (small) or absence seizures. With these type of seizures, the person may momentarily stop speaking or moving, become non-responsive, and stare off into space. He or she may also lose control of their bladder and bowels.
So if this person all of the sudden starts staring out into space and you smell pee or poop, this person may having a sneaky seizure.
The way to help a seizing person is the same:
- Help them into a position where there is no chance of falling or hitting a nearby object.
- Call 911.
- DO NOT try to place anything in their mouth,
- DO NOT try to hold them down.
The latter two points above are those big myths that almost everyone without medical training believes, but are wrong and can hurt rather the help the person.