Norelle Done | HealthGreatness

As much as we don’t like to think about tragedy striking, we live in a place where accidents happen and people hurt others, so it is best to be prepared. However, doing the wrong thing during a medical emergency can make injuries even worse for yourself or other victims.

According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, “It is essential to know how to recognize the signs of a medical emergency – because correctly interpreting and acting on these signs could potentially save the life of a loved one — or your own life — one day … For many medical emergencies, time is of the essence, and delays in treatment can often lead to more serious consequences.”

Emergency Concept

Don’t make these critical mistakes in the case of a medical emergency:

  • Wait to call 9-1-1. Time is of the essence, so do not delay in calling the police and/or ambulance as soon as you can. Do not hold off calling because you think you can take care of the victim by yourself – a medical professional is always better. In the case of a public emergency such as a car accident, do not wait to call 9-1-1 under the assumption that someone else will call.
  • Get agitated or give misinformation to authorities. Accidents can be very traumatic – not just for the victims, but for bystanders as well. Try as hard as you can not to get agitated or frantic, and stay calm. This is especially important as you contact the authorities, because they will need you to calmly relay important information about the medical emergency. Your distress may cause you to unintentionally give police or medics information that isn’t correct, which could harm the victim(s).
  • Act before you think. If you cannot safely help the victims of a medical emergency, don’t. Of course, you should call 9-1-1, but don’t get yourself into a situation where you may endanger your own safety by helping. Too many times, ‘Good Samaritans’ have gotten themselves injured in a second accident while they were unsafely trying to help in the first – particularly in car accidents, where you stand a risk of getting hit by a car yourself.

Avoid these critical mistakes during a medical emergency, and you avoid harming the victim(s) and/or yourself. In all medical emergencies, you should follow these steps. For a list of common medical emergencies and the way you should react, click here.