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Knowing When to Use the Emergency Room

Last updated 3 years ago

Sometimes, the signs of a medical emergency are clear, such as when an individual collapses and falls unconscious. At other times, medical emergencies are indicated by much more subtle symptoms. It’s important to recognize the signs of a medical emergency and to seek emergency care promptly when necessary. If you’re ever unsure of whether you might need emergency care, you can call your doctor or 911 for assistance.

Identifying Signs of Stroke

When a stroke occurs, every minute matters. The sooner a stroke victim receives emergency care, the better the chances of survival and a favorable long-term outcome. Stroke is recognizable by symptoms such as a sudden onset of confusion, dizziness, loss of balance and coordination, and vision impairment. Stroke typically affects one side of the body with symptoms such as numbness and weakness.

Understanding Symptoms of a Heart Attack

The classic sign of a heart attack is chest pain. While many other medical conditions can cause chest pain, you should get emergency care if this symptom arises, just in case. However, not everyone will experience chest pain with a heart attack. Women in particular may be more likely to experience subtle symptoms, such as jaw pain, shortness of breath, cold sweats, nausea, and lightheadedness.

Responding to Allergic Reactions

Many allergic reactions are mild and do not require emergency care, such as if you develop allergic contact dermatitis from contact with a particular substance. However, some individuals may suffer from anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction. Some common signs of anaphylaxis include airway constriction, difficulty breathing, wheezing, fainting, dizziness, skin reactions, and a weak or rapid pulse. If a life-threatening allergic reaction occurs, that patient requires an injection of epinephrine and a prompt trip to the emergency room.

The Emergency Care Center at Fawcett Memorial Hospital is pleased to serve residents of Port Charlotte, North Port, and Punta Gorda with exceptional emergency medical services. Our Primary Stroke Center and Chest Pain Center have both received accreditation in recognition of our commitment to excellence. If you require emergency care, please call 911; otherwise, you can reach our hospital at (888) 685-1599.


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