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What are the Most Common Medical Emergencies?

Most Common Medical Emergencies

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The world is an uncertain place, and we never truly know what will happen in the future. Emergencies can happen to us or our loved ones at any time, and while we can try to prevent them, we can never bring their likelihood down to zero.

Taking care of our health is incredibly important, especially as it means that we can help others should they ever experience a medical emergency. To do so, we need to understand what some of the most common medical emergencies are and how to intervene when we recognize that someone is in severe distress. 

Cuts and Burns

We’ll start with the most mundane medical emergencies, those that can happen to anyone no matter their health status: cuts and burns. Cuts are especially common when working with sharp implements, and burns are frequently associated with cooking or standing too close to a heat source.

These two are not always medical emergencies, though they can be very uncomfortable and perhaps leave scars. However, cuts that are bleeding uncontrollably even when you apply pressure, or burns that cover an extensive portion of the body, must be treated immediately. 


Broken bones must be tended to immediately to ensure that the injury is set properly, as there are many complications that can result from a broken bone. This can include internal bleeding, blood clots, and permanent deformity of the limb. The best thing you can do is to stabilize the injury and call for help, making sure you keep the person calm and comfortable while you await medical attention.


When a person’s air pipe is obstructed, their blood begins to drain of oxygen, which can lead to a condition called hypoxia. This can result in brain damage and death quite quickly, as humans need a constant supply of air. You must immediately clear the blockage by any means necessary, which usually means performing the Heimlich maneuver to forcibly expel the foreign object. Persons can also perform a self-Heimlich maneuver should they be alone, usually with the help of a chair back or another rigid but slim surface.

Fevers and Heat Stroke

A fever isn’t always a medical emergency: low-grade fevers mean that your body is doing what it can to fight off an infection. Similarly, a person might feel uncomfortable in hot, muggy weather, but that doesn’t always mean it will make them severely ill. However, once a person’s internal body temperature reaches a certain level, it actually begins to denature the body’s own proteins, which can destroy cells and lead to death. It’s important to bring down body temperature by any means necessary to prevent this gruesome problem.

Heart Attacks

Heart attacks mean that blood has stopped circulating throughout the body, usually because of a blood clot that has reached the heart, and can lead to death. When you suspect someone has had a heart attack, you need to check for a pulse and begin chest compressions, as it’s essential that you keep blood flowing throughout the body. 


Similar to a heart attack, a stroke is when blood stops circulating in part of the brain, which leads the cells to die and can severely impact a person’s functionality. This is a serious medical emergency and requires immediate intervention, so you must call 911 the instant that you suspect a stroke; don’t downplay it or believe that you’re overdramatizing the event. If the person’s heart stops, begin performing CPR; if they are conscious and still have a pulse, do not let them go to sleep and do not let them discourage you from seeking treatment for them. You should not give them any medication, food, or drink, as they may choke and further compound the issue.

How to Learn more about First Aid?

While you can take a traditional in-person course to learn more about first aid, this isn’t always convenient or available for everyone, which is why there’s a better solution: online Basic Life Support certification. This course covers almost every common medical emergency and explains how to assist someone who is in distress.

With courses like those at, you can go at your own pace and learn at times that are convenient for you, with on-demand videos and a comprehensive student manual that explains everything you need to know. These certifications are incredibly affordable, costing under $65 for hours of instructional content that you can review whenever you’d like. It’s an easy and accessible way to learn first aid so that you can be ready for any medical emergency someone might face.

Medical emergencies can happen to anyone, no matter their level of physical fitness or age. It’s important to recognize the signs of a medical event and intervene promptly; with proper training through an online BLS certification course, you may just save a life.

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