Is it really a medical emergency? Here’s how to be sure
How do you know if the symptoms you are experiencing are serious or if you can just ride them out?
When you are experiencing symptoms say, for instance, chest pain, almost everyone with a phone will start to Google and will try to find out what is happening to them and if they should phone an ambulance. Many doctors have, however, told me that Google isn’t really a reliable source of medical information and will cause you to stress even more.
Symptoms you should never ignore
You should get medical attention if you are experiencing the following symptoms: fever, severe headaches, neck pain and stiffness, nausea and sluggishness. The last symptom of meningitis is a rash, but it is best not to wait until you get a rash before going to the doctor.
You don’t need to panic if you are only experiencing one of the following symptoms: fever, severe headaches, neck pain and stiffness, nausea and sluggishness. But always trust your instincts; if you feel something is wrong go to the doctor, particularly if you have small children or teenagers because meningitis is more common with them.
Get medical attention if you have pain in the lower right side of the abdomen, between the navel and the right hip. The pain is usually accompanied by diarrhoea, blood in your stools and vomiting. You should go to the hospital before the pain turns very sharp, which could happen in just a few hours.
You don’t need to panic if you are only experiencing stomach pain but without any of the other symptoms; you might just be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. But if the cramping doesn’t go away in a few days you should cosult your GP.
You should get medical attention if you see swelling and you are struggling to move that part of your body, or if you heard a snap or grinding noise at the time of the injury.
Most of the time, ankle or wrist injuries are sprains; if you didn’t hear a sound at the time of the injury it’s most likely to be a sprain. Anti-inflammatories should help you see an improvement in just a few days. You will also notice some swelling but you will still have some movement.
You should get medical attention when you have pain that feels tight and heavy on your chest with the following symptoms: shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating and feeling cold and clammy. The pain in your chest might start to spread down your left arm or both your arms. Women might not even experience chest pain but they will have other symptoms like nausea and vomiting, upper back and jaw pain, and extreme fatigue; don’t ignore any of these symptoms and get to a hospital as soon as possible.
If you have chest pain but it feels like it is getting worse after eating or when lying down it’s possible that it might just be very bad heartburn so there is no need to stress. But as soon as you feel any of the other symptoms above go to a hospital.
No one likes to go to hospital but if your body is telling you that something is not right you should listen to it and go to the hospital.
Words: Natassha Burrell