While most of us know how to bandage a wound or call for an ambulance if someone loses consciousness, more serious injuries and conditions can catch you unprepared. Whether you’re in upper management or entry-level, working in a small office or a high-rise stuffed with cubicles, knowing how to react to emergencies and know the less-common symptoms of serious illnesses are all part of being well-read and ready to take action.

What to Do During a Seizure

Seizures can be caused by a wide range of conditions including epilepsy, low blood sugar, a high fever or even drug or alcohol withdrawal. Unfortunately, television and movies have popularized some terrible ideas about caring for someone who is experiencing a seizure. First, it’s not good idea to interfere too much. Most seizures resolve on their own quite nicely. Guard the person, remain calm, and remove objects they may thrash into, and remove their eyeglasses and tie. Turn them onto their side to protect their airway. Don’t try to hold them down or restrain them. Do not ever attempt to force an object into their mouth. Time the seizure. If it lasts longer than five minutes or the person stops breathing, call for an ambulance. Once the seizure is over, the person usually becomes alert and oriented within a few minutes. Call an ambulance if the person injures themselves, they do not wake up after the seizing stops, they seem confused or disoriented after a few minutes, or another seizure begins.

A Coworker Acting Drunk or High

There are several medical conditions that can cause someone to suddenly begin to act as if they are drunk. If the person is experiencing slurred speech, clumsiness, talkativeness, and mood swings, they may be experiencing a low blood sugar episode. This can happen to anyone, regardless of diabetic status. Have them sit down and offer them fruit juice, glucose tablets or some candy. If this doesn’t help within ten minutes or so, call an ambulance. Acting drunk or high can be a sign of liver disease, stroke or other neurological event and should be treated as an emergency.

A Sudden-Onset Migraine

If a coworker suddenly develops an intense migraine, it’s time to call for emergency services like 911 Industrial Response Inc. This is especially true if they feel dizzy, become sensitive to light, or begin vomiting. These are all symptoms of strokes and subarachnoid hemorrhages, both of which can prove fatal if ignored. If a person experiences such a ‘thunderclap’ headache, it’s best for them to be checked at the hospital. Now is not the time to encourage them to go lay down or go home to rest!

The signs and symptoms of a major health crisis are not always obvious. Knowing about these more unusual issues will leave you better prepared for an emergency at work.

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