Recognizing Signs of a Medical Emergency

Medical emergencies can happen any place and at any time.  Those who are preparing for long-term disasters need to familiarize themselves with signs of medical distress. Recognizing these signs when they first appear can help take the appropriate next steps in a timely fashion.

You can help the individual you support to learn these warning signs and symptoms of some common medical emergencies listed below:

  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure lasting two minutes or more
  • Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness, seizure
  • Possible serious bone fractures
  • Major burns
  • Changes in vision
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Confusion or changes in mental status, unusual behavior, difficulty waking
  • Any sudden or severe pain
  • Head pain that lasts longer than five minutes
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Shock symptoms, e.g., confusion, disorientation, cool/clammy, pale skin
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Unusual abdominal pain
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings

Knowing these signs and acting quickly could save the individual’s life.  Get treatment promptly.  For many medical emergencies, time is very important.  Some people experience the symptoms of an emergency, such as a stroke or a heart attack, but do not get help right away.  A delay in treatment could lead to a more serious illness.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published August 11th, 2011
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