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5 Emergencies: Do You Know What to Do?

Knowing how to act in a medical emergency can save a life.

5 Common Emergencies continued...

A cut tendon may be more problematic than the bleeding, she says. "It may need to be closed with sutures, or they may never be able to use that finger again. We hear it all the time, men who say, 'I'm fine, I'm fine.' They need to have that cut looked at."

Don't make a tourniquet: "We don't use tourniquets anymore," says Ramirez. "They cause too much damage to tissues. We advise putting direct pressure on the site. Even if it's a partial amputation, put a rag around it, hold it tight."

Here's more information on how to stop bleeding in the face or mouth.

Emergency: Seizure. The symptoms of seizures vary. The person may fall down and/or make erratic movements. Or their head might jerk and eyes flutter. This can happen to children who have a high fever, to someone with epilepsy, or when someone is having a stroke.

Any seizure warrants medical attention. Call 911. While waiting for paramedics, make sure the person does not hurt themselves. "If they fall down, get everyone away from them," says Ramirez. "Don't get near them; they could hurt you. Don't try to put something in the person's mouth (as used to be advised); it's too dangerous. Also, watch the clock -- how long the seizure lasts."

Read about first aid for seizures: how to protect yourself and others.


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