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When to Call For Help

When to Call For Help

Picture of emergency response personnel placing a call

Anytime you are not comfortable with a medical situation, call 911 (or your local emergency number), go to your nearest emergency room, or call your family physician.

The following list is not all-inclusive but provides examples of medical situations and conditions that warrant immediate medical attention:
  • chest or abdominal pain or pressure
  • difficulty breathing; shortness of breath
  • puncture wound
  • spinal cord, head, or brain injury
  • major burn
  • poisoning (including food, chemical, lead, or gas)
  • bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure
  • problems with movement or sensation following an injury or fall
  • animal, snake, insect, or human bite
  • broken bone
  • severe pain in any part of the body
  • severe allergic reaction
  • severe or persistent vomiting
  • sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision
  • suicidal or homicidal feelings
  • hallucinations and clouding of thoughts
  • a stiff neck in association with fever or headache
  • unequal pupil size, loss of consciousness, blindness
  • staggering, or repeated vomiting after a head injury
  • drug overdose

When to call for assistance:

Remember, anytime you are not comfortable with a medical situation, you should call for assistance. By acting quickly, you may prevent a serious emergency and could save a life.

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Online Resources of Non-Traumatic Emergencies

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