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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