To a person in distress, even the slightest medical condition feels like an emergency. However, it’s important to distinguish between a life-threatening medical emergency and a common medical problem that’s not life threatening.
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, the following are warning signs of a medical emergency:
- Bleeding that will not stop
- Breathing problems (difficulty breathing, shortness of breath)
- Change in mental status (such as unusual behavior, confusion, difficulty arousing)
- Chest pain
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
- Fainting or loss of consciousness
- Feeling of committing suicide or murder
- Head or spine injury
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Sudden injury due to a motor vehicle accident, burns or smoke inhalation, near drowning, deep or large wound, etc.
- Sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body
- Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision
- Swallowing a poisonous substance
- Upper abdominal pain or pressure
We also offer a free certificate of completion. To receive the certificate you must pass a 50-question test with a score of 70 or higher. Check our Basic First Aid Certificate of Completion page for more information.