an injured man receiving first aid treatment

10 Common Health Emergencies and How to Handle Them at Home

Medical emergencies are life-threatening medical conditions requiring immediate attention and medical intervention. We are constantly surrounded by medical emergencies and accidents, even inside the premises of our own homes. 

However, having the necessary medical knowledge and equipment can prove to be a life-saving experience for the victims in such an event. While some people react to an accident with panic and exacerbate the situation, keeping calm and administering first aid can bring you out of a life-threatening situation and save lives. 

This article will guide you regarding the most common health emergency situations and how to deal with them. 

Importance of Learning First Aid in Handling Common  Health Emergencies

Home remedies and recommendations on the internet often don’t work in a health emergency that requires immediate medical intervention. This is why government bodies and various national institutes of health emphasize getting professional first aid training or nursing courses. 

Professional courses aim to train citizens and paramedics in performing the basic first-aid procedures to provide immediate assistance and support until medical aid arrives. 

First aid and nursing courses have helped save millions of lives in all parts of the world. If you’re among those eager to learn first-aid skills or take a nursing course, we recommend joining online healthcare programs. The benefits of an online nursing or healthcare program are far-reaching. 

The coursework is specifically designed to accommodate your personal needs. It allows you to choose the time of the day to learn. 

Health emergencies require immediate attention from caregivers at home. According to the latest statistics, a patient waits for more than one hour on average until they receive treatment. A lack of first-aid or immediate medical intervention may result in the loss of life. 

Here are 10 health emergencies people commonly face and ways to handle such emergencies at home until medical aid arrives:

Seizures or Epileptic Convulsions

Fits and seizures can occur in persons diagnosed with epilepsy. However, they can also occur in people who do not have such a diagnosis. A fit or seizure is characterized by involuntary and uncontrollable jerking, twitching, or shaking of a portion or the entire body.


  1. Focus on keeping the victim safe until the seizure ceases on its own.
  2. Remove or loosen any clothes around the person’s neck.
  3. Don’t put anything in their mouth.
  4. If they are jerking, don’t restrict their movements.
  5. Clear the surrounding area and stay with them until the seizure subsides.


Choking happens when an obstacle blocks the windpipe, producing acute shortness of breath.


  1. Bend the patient’s head and shoulders forward and firmly yet gently squeeze their back from the shoulder blades. 
  2. In the case of a young kid, hold them upside down and pat their back firmly between the shoulder blades to dislodge the respiratory tract obstruction.
  3. To assist the sufferer, induce vomiting to eliminate the obstructive agent.

Burns and Scalds

There are many causes of burns from exposure to direct heat, such as direct contact with fire or hot metal, physical contact with a highly electrically charged object, or friction with a spinning wheel or fast-moving rope. Burns are also caused by coming into contact with alkalis or acids, which are highly corrosive and severely damage the skin. 

On the other hand, a scald is caused by wet heat, such as boiling water, steam, hot oil, or tar. Either a burn or a scald, the injuries are the same either way. You may develop redness or blisters on the contact area or damage the skin or deeper tissues. 


  • Avoid touching the injured region as much as possible unless necessary. 
  • Avoid removing burnt garments and breaking blisters. If needed, cut the garments off.
  • Firmly apply a dry, sterile dressing to the burns. If blisters are prominent or suspected of bursting, apply the dressing gently. Also, avoid any lotions at this time.
  • If burns are due to heat, quickly cool the burns with cold water until the pain is eased. Ice blocks should not be used to cool burns since they might cause more harm to the skin.
  • Exercise caution in case of electrical burns or electrocution. Turn off the electricity before rescuing the sufferer. Also, check if CPR is required.
  • If the burns are due to chemical leakage, immediately apply water to neutralize the chemical and eradicate the remnants using a cloth or glove.

Cuts and Wounds

The amount of care and treatment for cuts and wounds depends on their size and intensity. The cut or wound may be minor or major, but both require first aid assistance.


  • For a more minor cut, wash it under running water and apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding. 
  • Seek medical attention if any symptoms of infection persist after a few days.
  • If direct pressure and elevation of the incision fail to stop the bleeding, attempt indirect pressure (tourniquet). Also, seek medical assistance right away.
  • For a significant cut, elevate the bleeding portion of the patient. Do not disrupt or try to remove any wholly or partially formed blood clots. Remove superficial foreign bodies using a clean dressing or a sterile tweezer. Use both direct and indirect pressure to apply and sustain pressure. Finally, wrap the wound in a clean dressing and bandage.

Respiratory Difficulties

A person’s inability to breathe can be caused by a variety of factors. Examples include asthma attacks, allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), and coughs or colds. Breathlessness can occur during exercise or physical activity. Still, it might be a warning or indicate the potential for a severe condition if it occurs abruptly or unexpectedly.


  • For Asthmatics, use inhalers or any prescribed medicines. Seek medical assistance right away if the condition persists.
  • For allergic reactions, remove the source of the allergic response (if known). If your symptoms are minor, use anti-allergic drugs. However, if your breathing issue increases, seek medical attention at once.

Heart Attack (Or Chest Pain)

A heart attack occurs when the heart’s blood supply is cut off due to obstruction of arteries carrying blood to heart tissues due to blood clots. Its symptoms include aches and pains in the chest region, shortness of breath, stomachache, fainting, sweating, and neck, jaw, or shoulder pain.


  • Calm the patient down, make them sit, and remove any tight clothing.
  • If the patient has any heart attack medicine or disprin, place it under the patient’s tongue and seek medical attention immediately.

Traumatic Head Injuries

A traumatic head injury results when an item strikes the head violently. Its symptoms include nausea, dizziness, brief loss of consciousness, memory loss, imbalance in posture, sensory issues, etc. It is a hazardous condition that can lead to brain injury or hemorrhage if left untreated. 


  • Examine the individual’s breathing and blood circulation.
  • Start with CPR if the situation is serious.
  • If the person is unconscious, do not move them until medical treatment arrives.
  • In case of visible bleeding, firmly press one or more cloths on the incision. Ice packs should be applied to soothe the swollen regions.

Fractured Bones

General fracture and sprains symptoms include tenderness or pain while applying general pressure to the affected location. Swelling and warmth around the affected site. Amputation or deformation of a limb (in case of bone fracture)


  1. Reduce movement of the damaged region.
  2. Wrap it in a small towel first, then press ice packs on the injury for some time until the swelling and discomfort subside.
  3. Place a stiff substance (splint) close to the injury and secure it with a bandage or tape.

Heat Stroke

Heatstroke is a condition that occurs when your body overheats due to extended exposure to heat or due to physical exertion in hot temperatures. The condition is particularly frequent during the summer.


  1. Immersing the individual in a cool tub or shower
  2. Use a garden hose to spray
  3. Apply cold, moist cloths or ice packs to the neck, armpits, and groin regions.
  4. Wrap in cool, moist sheets.
  5. Have the individual sip cold water to rehydrate.

Bites or Stings

The intensity of a bite or a sting depends on the animal. Dog and cat bites are often minor wounds that should be dressed with a clean, dry bandage. But if an animal is diseased or infected, you need immediate medical attention.

On the other hand, insect stings hardly have any serious implications. They can, however, cause extreme discomfort, especially in sensitive areas, including the lips, eyes, or mouth.


For animal bites:

  1. Wash the wound with water and alcohol to remove and sterilize the animal’s bacteria-filled saliva. 
  2. Keep the wound elevated.
  3. If available, bathe the wound in a dilute solution of potassium permanganate.

For insect stings:

  1. Remove the sting with tweezers or apply pressure around it if it is a bee, wasp, or hornet sting. 
  2. To reduce itching, wash thoroughly with soap and water and use an antihistamine ointment or lotion. Also, avoid scratching the stings.

HP Thoughts: There are times when you would just go outdoors and live like Tarzan and commune with Nature. Sounds fantastic! What if you encounter an accident and you are in the middle of nowhere land? How would you cope? No worries. We have a post dedicated to adventurous people like you — Checklist for a Forest First Aid Kit.

Final Thoughts

Medical emergencies require immediate attention from caregivers, nurses, paramedics, and healthcare providers. Lack of a prompt response to health emergencies may result in a loss of life. 

Taking a healthcare program and learning how to administer first-aid in health emergencies and treatment mechanisms can help you develop critical skills. You can monitor and maintain a person’s vitals until medical help arrives. Ultimately helping them recover from a life-threatening situation. 

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