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Diseases & Conditions : Non-Traumatic Emergencies

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When to Call For Help

Picture of emergency response personnel placing a call

Anytime you are not comfortable with a medical situation, call 911 (or your local emergency number), go to your nearest emergency room, or call your family physician.

The following list is not all-inclusive but provides examples of medical situations and conditions that warrant immediate medical attention:

  • Chest or abdominal pain or pressure

  • Difficulty breathing; shortness of breath

  • Puncture wound

  • Spinal cord, head, or brain injury

  • Major burn

  • Poisoning (including food, chemical, lead, or gas)

  • bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure

  • Problems with movement or sensation following an injury or fall

  • Animal, snake, insect, or human bite

  • Broken bone

  • Severe pain in any part of the body

  • Severe allergic reaction

  • Severe or persistent vomiting

  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision

  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings

  • Hallucinations and clouding of thoughts

  • A stiff neck in association with fever or headache

  • Unequal pupil size, loss of consciousness, blindness

  • Staggering, or repeated vomiting after a head injury

  • Drug overdose

When to call for assistance:

Remember, anytime you are not comfortable with a medical situation, you should call for assistance. By acting quickly, you may prevent a serious emergency and could save a life.