It is essential to know how to recognize the signs of a medical emergency – because correctly interpreting and acting on these signs could potentially save the life of a loved one — or your own life — one day. Many people experience the symptoms of an emergency, such as a stroke or a heart attack, but for various reasons (such as fear), delay seeking care right away. For many medical emergencies, time is of the essence, and delays in treatment can often lead to more serious consequences.
Emergency physicians believe it is the responsibility of every individual to learn to recognize the warning signs of a medical emergency. The following signs and symptoms and are not intended to represent every kind of medical emergency, but rather to provide examples of common issues.
Is It An Emergency? (PDF)