A sudden onset of chest pain or heaviness felt across the chest and possibly spreading to the left arm or neck could be a heart attack. In these circumstances phone 999 for an emergency ambulance first and then phone the surgery.
What is an Emergency?
When it comes to your health or the health of someone in your family, it is often very obvious if the person is seriously ill and needs immediate emergency care. An emergency is a critical or life-threatening situation.
To help you decide what a critical situation is here are some examples:
unconsciousness, a suspected stroke, heavy blood loss, suspected broken bones,a deep wound such as a stab wound, a suspected heart attack, difficulty in breathing, severe burns, and a severe allergic reaction.
There are a few things that you should remember in any emergency. These will help you to deal with the situation quickly and efficiently. Stay calm, shout for help. You may need to instruct someone to telephone 999. Make sure they know where the ambulance has to come to, and they have some details about the person who is injured or ill. Don't put yourself in danger. For example, if someone has been electrocuted, make sure you switch off the power supply before touching them. Do everything you can to help the person. Don't give the person anything to eat, drink or smoke. Don't stick anything in their mouth. Follow the instructions the ambulance service call handler may give you. The way to help a person very often depends on what is wrong with them.
Sometimes, the quickest way to help is to take the person to the nearest accident and emergency department. This very often for our practice will be Wishaw General Hospital. However, no matter how close your hospital is, you should call an ambulance and not move the patient if:
you think they may have hurt their back or neck, or have any other injury that may be made worse by moving them, the person is in shock and needs your constantattention, or the person has severe chest pain or difficulty breathing.
The recovery position:
If the patient is unconscious, there is a safe position to put them in which allows them to breathe easily and stops them choking on any vomit. However, you must first carefully consider whether there is any chance that the casualty has hurt their back or neck, or has an injury that would be made worse by moving them. Putting them in the recovery position in this case could have serious consequences. If you are in any doubt, and the casualty is in no further danger by being left in their original position, do not move them. Wait for the paramedics to arrive.
How to put someone in the recovery position?
Once you have checked that they are breathing normally, lie them on one side, with a cushion at their back, bring their knee forward, and point their head downward to allow any vomit to escape without them swallowing it or breathing it in. Remember, when you are moving the patient onto their side, make sure their neck and back are well supported.
Many parents worry that their child may have meningitis. Please read the following leaflet on weblink: http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Meningitis-Symptom-Check-List.htm
If you suspect meningitis - get medical help immediately.
Severe sudden allergy (Angio-oedema)
Episodes of angio-oedema cause swelling of deeper skin tissues, most commonly of the eyelids, lips, genitals, hands, and feet. Sometimes the tongue and throat are affected which may affect breathing. There are various causes. Some people have recurring episodes. Each episode usually clears within a few days. Antihistamines and steroid tablets ease symptoms.
If your breathing is affected then go straight to your local accident and emergency department or call for an ambulance urgently.
This video shows how to treat an adult who is choking