Top Time-Sensitive Medical Emergencies


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Top Time-Sensitive Medical Emergencies

Accidents and sudden illnesses come without warning, and nobody ever expects to be in a situation where someone’s life is at stake.

We are vulnerable and could face a life-threatening medical condition at any moment. When this happens, it’s essential to know when a medical emergency is time-sensitive.

In this article, we will talk about some of the top time-sensitive medical emergencies. Because getting someone the medical attention they need, right away, can help save their life.[/vc_column_text][us_image image=”24920″ size=”full”][vc_column_text]

What is a Time-Sensitive Medical Emergency?

A time-sensitive emergency is a medical condition where fast treatment can make a big difference in the eventual outcome for a person.

Conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, and severe trauma are considered time-sensitive medical emergencies.

In these circumstances, the faster a patient receives medical attention, the better his chances of surviving are. Additionally, receiving fast treatment can also lower the risk of permanent disability.[/vc_column_text][us_image image=”24918″ size=”full”][vc_column_text]

List of Top Time-Sensitive Medical Emergencies

The following is a list of some of the most common time-sensitive medical emergencies.

Cardiac and Circulatory Medical Emergencies

  • Cardiac Arrest: This is when your heart suddenly stops. If not treated immediately the patient will die.
  • Heart Attack: This occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart stops. It needs immediate medical attention. Otherwise, that section of the heart muscle starts to die. The earlier the intervention, the less damage to the muscle, the greater chance the patient has to survive.

“Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.” –

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis: A blood clot that forms within a deep vein, usually in the leg. If it breaks loose, it can travel through the bloodstream into the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. Symptoms include:

“Swelling, Pain or tenderness not caused by injury, Skin that is warm to the touch, Redness or discoloration of the skin.”


  • Heart Arrhythmia: An abnormal heartbeat. Symptoms include palpitations or feeling a pause in between pulses. Seek immediate ER if accompanied by chest pain or pressure, you may be having a heart attack.

If accompanied by face drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech, sudden severe headache, trouble seeing or walking, confusion, and/or sudden numbness, you could be having a stroke.


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Neurological Medical Emergencies

  • Stroke: Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. However, some medications can reserve a stroke when given within the first three hours of the onset of symptoms.
  • Spinal Cord Injury: Acute spinal cord compression is a medical emergency that requires swift diagnosis and treatment. If not treated promptly, it can cause irreversible spinal cord injury and long-term disability.
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome: A rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. The condition can eventually paralyze the whole body. According to the CDC:

“About two-thirds of people who develop GBS experience symptoms several days or weeks after they have been sick with diarrhea or a respiratory illness.”

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Trauma-Related Medical Emergencies

  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Serious traumatic brain injury requires immediate medical attention as they can result in long-term complications or death. Find out more about TBI.
  • Chest Injury: This includes any form of physical damage to the chest, including the ribs, heart, and lungs. Chest injuries account for a quarter of all deaths from traumatic injury. To increase survival rates, patients need immediate medical attention.
  • Profuse Bleeding: Wounds that results in uncontrolled bleeding can lead to a condition known as shock. Shock is a life-threatening medical emergency where the patient no longer has enough blood circulating in their body. Read about Cuts and Scrapes.

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Gastrointestinal Medical Emergencies

  • Appendicitis: It happens when the appendix becomes inflamed. If the appendix bursts it can cause a potentially fatal condition known as peritonitis. Symptoms may include:

Sharp pain in the lower right abdomen, appetite-loss, nausea and/or vomiting soon after abdominal pain begins, abdominal swelling, fever of 99-102 °F.

  • Intestinal Obstruction: A blockage that prevents food or liquid from passing through either the small intestine or large intestine (colon).

Without swift medical intervention, the blocked parts of the intestine can die, and lead to severe problems.

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Environmental Medical Emergencies

  • Heat-Related Illnesses: Heatstroke, severe dehydration, and heat exhaustion are all potentially life-threatening conditions if not treated rapidly.
  • Electrical Injuries: Electric currents from lightening, household appliances, or power lines can travel through the body burning both internal and external tissues. Electrical shock can also damage internal organs and cause your heart to stop.

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Infection and Infectious Disease Medical Emergencies

  • Bacterial Meningitis: The most dangerous type of meningitis, if not treated quickly it can lead to death or permanent disability.
  • Gas Gangrene: Gas gangrene, is a fast-spreading and potentially life-threatening form of gangrene caused by a bacterial infection.
  • Necrotizing Fasciitis: Commonly known as a flesh-eating disease this rare bacterial infection can spread quickly in the body and can cause death.
  • Sepsis: A potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection. If left untreated, sepsis it will progress into septic shock and may lead to death. Signs may include:

High heart rate, shivering, fever, confusion and disorientation, shortness of breath, extreme pain or discomfort, sweating or clamming skin. Source:

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What to Do in A Time-Sensitive Medical Emergency

Knowing what to do during a time-sensitive medical emergency can save your life or that of a loved one.

The best way to handle an emergency is to prepare ahead of time. Here is how you can create your emergency plan:

  • Create a Contact List: Create a Contact List: Make a list for your family of who to contact in case of an emergency. Include emergency numbers such as 911, your doctor, family members, and Altus Emergency Centers.
  • Know Where to Go: Remember, time is of the essence in a medical emergency. Therefore, when possible, choose to receive treatment at an Altus Emergency Centers where there are no lines with No Wait Times through our Quick Online Check-In.
  • Review Your Insurance: By law, all insurance companies must offer emergency room coverage. However, it’s always a good idea to understand what and how much your insurance policy covers. Our Patient Advocate team is available to help you with this is you need it.

[/vc_column_text][us_image_slider ids=”24914,24923,24917″ fullscreen=”1″ autoplay=”1″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]At Altus Emergency Centers, we always put the patients first. When you visit our facilities, you will have:

  • No Lines.
  • More time with your treating physicians.
  • Personalized high-quality treatment.

Don’t risk your life during a medical emergency; choose the best ER care for you and your loved ones.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]