According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are nearly 150 million emergency room visits each year. Reasons range from a broken bone, a burn, choking, a bee sting, a stroke, to heart attacks and more. The list goes on and on. In an earlier blog I wrote about heart attacks in women. But for most people, the hope is that it will never happen to them. Thatís why so many people donít give it a lot of thought and arenít prepared for a medical emergency when one occurs.
If that sounds like you, here are three important questions you should be asking:
- Would I recognize a medical emergency?
- Would I know when to call 9-1-1?
- What should I do after I call 9-1-1?
Not knowing the answers to these three important questions is one of the main reasons people die in a medical emergency even though their death could be preventable.† Unfortunately, 40 percent of Americans donít know a single symptom of a stroke even though itís the third most common cause of death in the United States.
Thatís why I, together with Shelly Glazier, have written a new book called Save Your Life: What To Do In A Medical Emergency. Itís a simple to read and easy to understand guide that answers the three important questions above. Here are four important examples taken from our Save Your Life book to help you when you are faced with a medical emergency.
If you think there could be a medical emergency:
- Call your doctor?
No! Waiting for the doctor to call back wastes valuable time.
- Rest to see if you feel better?
No! Waiting to see if the symptoms pass also wastes time that could save a life because the sooner you get medical care, the more likely you are to live.
- Drive yourself to the hospital?
No! If you drive yourself to the hospital, you might pass out or stop breathing on the way.
- Call a family member or friend for a ride to the hospital?
No! Do not ask family or friends to drive you to the hospital (unless emergency services are not available). If you lose consciousness, your driver likely wonít be able to help you.