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When should you go to the Hospital?

Trust Your Instinct

One of your most powerful tools you have in looking after your body or the health of your loved ones is your own observation. Most of us have a sense for when a situation is not right. Therefore, if your instinct or intuition tells you a situation is serious, trust it and call your emergency line or go to the hospital ASAP. It always better to be safe than sorry in a first aid scenario or occurring medical emergencies.

Chest Pain

If you have chest pain or pressure that lasts more than a couple of minutes, it’s time to go to the hospital. Ideally, you should call the emergency medical services and have an ambulance sent to you as they have equipment and trained people who can help you quickly. However, if your reality is such that they might come later or not at all, please call let a spouse, neighbor or colleague drive you. Don’t try to drive yourself or a loved one with these symptoms.

Headaches in Children

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is described as an intense tightening in the chest, air hunger, difficulty breathing, breathlessness or a feeling of suffocation. If it happens suddenly and is affecting your normal activities, have someone drive you to the hospital. Call 112 or the emergency medical services if it is severe, or have additional symptoms like nausea, vomiting or there is loss of consciousness.

Vision Problems

Call emergency medical services or go to the hospital ASAP if you suddenly have blurry vision, double vision, or loss of vision. You also should get help if you have a bad headache, nausea or vomiting, numbness, weakness, confusion, or trouble talking as it can be a sign of stroke or other serious illness. If you have severe pain or irritation in your eyes, go to the hospital ASAP.


You can usually treat a minor first-degree burn by yourself by following first aid for burns steps. But go to the hospital if the burn is on a large part of your hands, feet, face, buttocks, groins, or any of your joints.  Also get emergency medical care if you have blisters or if it’s bigger than 3 inches or charred skin.

Head Injury

Hitting your head can be serious and need immediate medical care. This is especially so if there is loss of consciousness, seizures, a headache that won’t go away, persistent vomiting or nausea, slurred speech, or you feel confused, weak, numb, or less coordinated. The earlier this is attended to the better the recovery.

Deep Cuts and Severe Bleeding

Blood should stay in the “pipes”, that is, the vessels. The more blood that is out of your body, the less blood to circulate around delivering oxygen to the rest of the body.  Cuts that expose the yellow fatty tissue under the first layer of skin or if it’s on your face, neck, genitals, or across a joint should be seen in the hospital or it may close properly as it heals. You should also go if you were bitten by a person or animal, cut with a dirty or rusty object or have a foreign object stuck in the cut (such as glass, dirt etc.).

Confusion or Trouble Speaking

Strokes usually present as these symptoms. Don’t take any chances, call 112, your national emergency number or go to the hospital ASAP. Your treatment and recovery depends a lot on how fast you get medical care because the symptoms of a type of stroke can be reversed if you seek medical care on time. Other stroke symptoms include problems with balancing, intense headache, face drooping and weakness on one side of your body.

Broken Bones

If you think you have a broken bone as a result of an incident, seek medical care ASAP especially if a bone pierces your skin, or the injured body part looks deformed. This applies no matter where the bone is located, there’s heavy bleeding or a loss of sensation beyond the fracture. If you thought you had a sprain and the pain gets worse, swelling increases or you can’t bear your weight, go to the hospital too.


If you’ve never had one before, you are pregnant, have diabetes, or an ongoing illness, a seizure calls for emergency medical care. If you know you have a condition that causes seizures, follow your doctor’s orders if one occurs. However, see your doctor if you start to have more seizures or have other symptoms along with them.

About the author 


First Aid by Levande is a service offered by Levande Healthcare Ltd. We want to give you the confidence to care and act when seconds count.

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