Sudden Illness

Chapter 15
Common Sudden Illnesses
Diabetic emergencies.
Heart attack.
General guidelines of care:
 Do no further harm.
 Monitor breathing and consciousness.
 Help victim rest in most comfortable position.
 Keep victim from getting chilled or
 Reassure victim.
 Give specific care needed.
Fainting: partial or complete loss of
consciousness caused by a temporary
reduction of blood to the brain.
 Signals:
 Cool, pale or moist skin.
 Nausea.
 Numbness or tingling in fingers & toes.
Care for Fainting
Position victim on their back
 Elevate the legs 12in.
 Loosen restrictive clothing.
 Check for any other conditions
 Don’t give anything to eat or drink.
 Don’t splash with water or slap face.
 If victim recovers quickly & has no
lasting signals, you may or may not
need to call 9-1-1
Diabetic Emergencies
The condition in which the body doesn’t produce
enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin effectively is
Insulin: a hormone that helps sugar pass from
bloodstream to cells.
Without a proper balance of sugar & insulin, cells
will starve and body will not function properly.
Diabetic Emergencies
Two types:
 Hyperglycemia: condition where blood
sugar is too high
 Hypoglycemia: condition where blood
sugar is too low
 Changes in the level of consciousness,
including dizziness, drowsiness and
 Irregular breathing.
 Abnormal pulse (rapid or weak).
 Feeling or looking ill.
Care for Diabetic Emergency
Conscious victim:
Check/care for non and lifethreatening conditions.
 Look for a medical alert tag or ask the
victim if they have diabetes.
 If able to swallow, give them sugar in
the form of fruit juice, candy or a
non-diet soda
Unconscious Victim
If the victim is unconscious—
 Call 9-1-1
 Don’t give them anything by mouth.
 Monitor signs of life.
 Keep them from getting overheated or
The chronic form of seizure is known as
Seizures can range from mild
blackouts to sudden, uncontrolled
muscular contractions that can last
several minutes.
Signals of Seizures
A change in the level of consciousness
Rhythmic jerking of the head and limbs
Urinating or defecating
Crying out
Becoming rigid
Holding the breath
Upward rolling of the eyes
Care for Seizures
Don’t restrain the victim.
Protect victim from injury by removing
nearby objects
After the seizure, position them on one
side so fluid can drain from the mouth.
Check for life-threatening conditions.
Stay with them until they are fully
conscious & aware of their surroundings.
Call 9-1-1
Stroke: disruption of blood flow to a part
of the brain, causing permanent damage
to brain tissue.
Ways to reduce the risk of a stroke:
 Controlling blood pressure
 Not smoking
 Eating a healthy diet
 Exercising regularly
 Controlling diabetes
 Appearing or feeling ill, displaying abnormal behavior
 Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or
leg, often on only one side of the body
Difficulty speaking or being understood
Blurred or dimmed vision
Pupils of unequal size
Sudden severe headache
Change in mood
Ringing in the ears
Loss of consciousness
Loss of bowel or bladder control
Face — Weakness on one side of the
 Arm — Weakness or numbness in one
 Speech — Slurred speech or trouble
 Time — Time to call 9-1-1 if you see any
of these signals.
Care for Stroke
Care for life-threatening conditions.
Call 9-1-1
Position him or her on one side
(affected or paralyzed side down) to
allow fluids to drain.
Stay with the victim until EMS
If the victim is conscious—
 Check for non-life-threatening conditions.
 Offer comfort and reassurance.
 Have victim rest in a comfortable position.