How to Recognize a Medical Emergency and When to Call 9-1-1

How to Recognize a Medical EmergencyAt the South Tampa Immediate Care walk-in clinic, you don’t need an appointment to see a doctor. Our physicians are available to provide the immediate medical attention you need for sudden, non-severe illnesses and injuries. For example, we routinely treat patients with sprains, strains, fractures, low-grade fevers, infections, cuts, minor burns, sore throats, flu, allergies, and other minor but urgent medical conditions. However, if you are facing a life-threatening emergency, you should immediately call 9-1-1 or proceed directly to the nearest emergency room (ER).

To help you recognize a true medical emergency that warrants a 9-1-1 call or trip to the ER, we offer the following list of warning signs to be vigilant for:

  • Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Sudden confusion, disorientation, or pale and clammy skin (shock symptoms)
  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, or vision changes
  • Allergic reaction that causes throat swelling or hives
  • Severe headache
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Major burns
  • Injuries affecting the head or spine
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood
  • Drowning
  • Hypothermia
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Suspected poisoning or drug overdose
  • Thoughts of suicide

Recognizing these signs and acting quickly can save a life. In most emergency situations, time is of the essence. It’s important to remain calm. When you call 9-1-1, speak slowly and clearly, and don’t hang up until the dispatcher tells you to. You’ll need to provide the name, address, telephone number, and location of the person in need, as well as describe the nature of the problem. If necessary, perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) if you know the technique (the dispatcher may provide instruction). Never attempt to move a person with a suspected neck or spinal injury.

To learn more, or if you require attention for a non-life-threatening medical condition, please contact or visit South Tampa Immediate Care, where you can see a doctor at our walk-in clinic today.