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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 healthcare provider.
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the following 12 conditions warrant immediate medical attention:
Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
Chest or upper belly pain or pressure lasting 2 minutes or more
Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness
Changes in vision
Confusion or changes in mental status
Any sudden or severe pain
Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
Coughing or vomiting blood
Suicidal or homicidal feelings
Difficulty speaking, or numbness or weakness in any part of your body
Unusual belly pain
Additional conditions and symptoms that require emergency attention include:
Loss of consciousness
Spinal cord, head, or brain injury
Severe allergic reaction
A fast heartbeat (more than 120 to 150 beats per minute) at rest, especially if associated with shortness of breath or feeling faint
A broken bone with skin protruding through the skin
ACEP recommends seeking immediate help if your child has any of the following:
Any significant change from normal behavior
Confusion or delirium
Decreasing responsiveness or alertness
Seizure or abnormal shaking or twitching
Strange or withdrawn behavior
Severe headache or vomiting, especially after a head injury
Inability to stand up or unsteady walking
Abnormal or difficult breathing
Skin or lips that look blue or purple (gray for darker-skinned children)
Feeding or eating difficulties
Increasing or severe, persistent pain
Fever accompanied by a change in behavior (especially with a severe, sudden headache accompanied by mental changes, or neck or back stiffness or rashes)
Remember, anytime you are not comfortable with a medical situation, you should call for help. By acting quickly, you may prevent a serious emergency and could save a life.
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