Reading lesson: Medical Emergencies

medical emergencies reading lesson English cover

Read this article about how to help in a medical crisis. Then complete the quiz below.

How to Handle a Medical Emergency

Imagine the worst-case scenario – you find an unconscious person. Most people are not trained medical professionals, but that does not mean you cannot help. Follow these steps to handle a medical emergency in the best way possible.

  1. Call the emergency number for help – common numbers are 112, 911, or 999. Use the correct emergency number for the country where you are. Don’t hesitate because you don’t know how serious the situation is. It is best to call and let professionals decide the next step.
  2. Remain calm and stay aware. Look for other potential dangers. Don’t create another emergency because you are trying to help someone.
  3. Start CPR or follow the directions from the emergency dispatcher. They will help you until EMTs arrive on the scene.

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While you wait, you may be able to help more. Here are some more tips to be a good Samaritan.

  1. Check their alertness. Ask them, “Are you OK?” or “Do you know where you are?”
  2. Take their pulse. You can do this at their wrist or neck. Do not use your thumb. Instead, use your index and middle finger. Thumbs themselves have a pulse that you can mistake for theirs.
  3. Stay with them and keep them calm. Tell them emergency services are coming.
  4. Make them comfortable, if possible. You can offer water or give your coat as a headrest. Do not move an injured person by yourself though. You can cause more problems if there is a back, neck, or head injury.
  5. Do not slap them, shake them, or try to give them medical treatment on your own.

The best preparation for an emergency is knowledge. Know emergency numbers if you are traveling. Be aware of where you are and what happens around you. Take classes to learn how to give CPR and the Heimlich maneuver for choking.

SOURCES: William Walters, MD, emergency medicine specialist, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia. Elda Ramirez, RN, MSN, FNP, CEN, professor and division head of emergency care, University of Texas School of Nursing, Houston.

Writing Exercise

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