How to Deal with a Medical Emergency at Home

/ Covid-19

The roads are empty and the hustle and bustle of the overcrowded streets, shops, offices, schools, and parks has been shifted to clinics and hospitals. We’re all homebound, practicing social distancing and self-quarantining to prevent ourselves from getting infected by the virus. During this crucial time, it is important to know how to deal with any sort of emergency at home. Even without the lockdown in place, you ought to know how to deal with a medical emergency in case it takes time for the help to arrive.

According to a survey conducted and recorded in the 1999 science journal, 72% of people panic and are not able to perform the easiest of tasks during an emergency, especially if they’re alone. In such a situation, remember to call an ambulance at 998. If the situation is grave, an air ambulance will be sent for the patient.

This article will allow you to be fully mentally equipped for an emergency.

Here are some important steps to keep in mind:

Step 1: When it happens, stay calm. We understand you’re scared and probably can’t breathe. But, panicking and taking action without thinking can result in a lot more harm. Don’t put yourself and the other person in jeopardy. If you don’t know what exactly to do, then don’t try to act fast.

Step 2: After a few seconds, try to comprehend what has happened. Try to treat the most life-threatening issues first. For example, if a person and the house are on fire and the fire has spread beyond help, you’ll attend to the person first and then evacuate instead of running around trying to un-set the curtains on fire. However, if it is in control, after rushing to the impacted person, you can attend to the house. If there are other people in the house or anywhere near it, try your best to call out to them. Another wise way to go if you aren’t sure of the situation is to ask. Ask the person where it hurts till help arrives. For example, if after a fall the person’s backbone aches, you’re not to move him/her. If a person is not breathing, attempt to do CPR. A person on 998’s end can guide you. However, a CPR can be performed by positioning the head up of the person, moving the tongue out of the way so that the airway is open and then doing compressions.

Dealing with excessive bleeding: If a person is bleeding excessively, rush to get a first aid kit. If a first aid kit is not available to clean the wound, apply direct pressure to it. Do not remove the bandage even if it gets soaked- when the medical help arrives, they’ll entertain the wound themselves. Most people get frightened after seeing blood, and they assume that they’ll die of blood loss whereas a little pressure on the wound and calming words is usually the solution to the problem. Top doctors in the UAE for gum bleeding, nasal bleeding and uterine bleeding can be booked online.

Dealing with a seizure: A person having a seizure may fall to the ground, start shaking and jerking, and not be in his/her senses. Someone who doesn’t have epilepsy can have a seizure too (suffering from high-fever or having a stroke). Whilst help arrives, do not try to pin the person down or control his/her movements. Do the exact opposite: step away and clear the surroundings so that the person doesn’t end up hurting him/herself. Also, note for how long the seizure lasts.

Dealing with burns: Immediately take the person away from the area and wrap the person in a blanket or roll him/her on the floor. Remove any clothing or jewelry impacting the burnt area and don’t use any iced water or greasy substance to cover the wounds. Give a pain killer to reduce the pain till the damage is examined by a medical expert.

Dealing with choking: Most people get confused between coughing and choking. If a person is coughing, he/she will make noise and will be able to breathe. However if a person is choking, his/her face will most likely change color and voice will be absent as well. The individual will struggle to breathe. It is important to understand the difference because performing the Heimlich Maneuver whilst the person is coughing can make the food go to the windpipe. The Heimlich Maneuver can save a life if the person is choking. You can learn how to perform it here.

Dealing with a panic or anxiety attack (inability to breathe/dizziness): If a person is having such an attack, he or she will most likely be unable to respond in the best manner. Till help arrives, try to keep them ‘up’ by questioning and distracting them from what has triggered the attack. Sometimes, the dizziness can be caused by a pre-existing health condition such as diabetes so you can’t try to communicate to be of better help (fetch them something they need). If the person is having a panic attack or reports of sudden sweats or anxiousness, make him/her exhale in and out slowly to calm their nerves. If the person starts acting out, you can call for more help.

Dealing with chest pain: WebMD suggests to think of any chest pain as a heart attack and call an ambulance right away. Even if the person is complaining of mild chest pain, do not take any risk of trying to let the matter slide. If the person collapses, check for a pulse and attempt CPR. Cardiac arrests are a leading cause of death, so learning CPR and rushing the person to the nearest healthcare center is the best you can do.

Note: Emergency treatment to stabilize the patient is free, but other treatment is to be paid for. The cost depends on the type of treatment and can be paid through cash, card or insurance.

If it is a coronavirus emergency contact the Department of Health at 8001717, Ministry of Health & Prevention at 80011111 or Dubai Health Authority at 800342.

Recommended read: When and How will the Coronavirus End?

Here are some numbers for emergency situations, anywhere in the UAE:

  • 999 for the police
  • 998 for an ambulance
  • 997 for the fire department (civil defense)
  • 996 for coastguard
  • 911 for electricity failure
  • 922 for water failure

Recommended read: Coronavirus Vaccine in the UAE: Benefits, Side-Effects & Latest Updates


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