The key to managing an emergency is knowing what you need to prepare yourself for ahead of time. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that everyone memorize the most severe COVID symptoms, so you know exactly when to dial 911. “If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately,” the CDC says. “Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility.” Read on for the CDC’s list of emergency symptoms, but keep in mind the agency notes their list “is not all possible symptoms” and that you should “call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.” Now, for the symptoms mentioned.
The first severe symptom on the list is shortness of breath or breathing troubles. According to Harvard Health, some COVID patients will experience temporary shortness of breath due to anxiety. Cases that are brief and resolve on their own are “not worrisome,” they explain. “However, if you find that you are ever breathing harder or having trouble getting air each time you exert yourself, you always need to call your doctor,” the Harvard Health experts explain on their website. “That was true before we had the recent outbreak of COVID-19, and it will still be true after it is over.”
The next symptom on the list is persistent pain or pressure in your chest. Having persistent pain or pressure in your chest could indicate a severe lung condition or a heart episode. “Very early into the pandemic, it was clear that many patients who were hospitalized were showing evidence of cardiac injury,” Gregg Fonarow, MD, chief of the division of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles told the American Heart Association. According to Fonarow, up to one-fourth of hospitalized COVID-19 experience serious heart complications, including myocarditis and heart failure. This is yet another symptom that your doctor has to know about, before the pandemic, during it, and after it.
The following symptom is an inability to wake up or stay awake. You should always call 911 anytime someone loses consciousness due to an illness, and it’s no different in the case of COVID-19. If you are caring for someone with COVID and they lose consciousness, seek immediate medical attention. And, the last symptom that you have to pay attention to is bluish lips or face. Usually, if a COVID patient develops bluish lips or the color in their face turns blue, this indicates that their oxygen levels are dangerously low. Even if you’re not displaying this serious symptom, you can monitor your oxygen levels at home with a pulse oximeter. Readings between 95 and 100 are considered healthy, while anything below 95 is typically considered cause for concern. Please, take care of yourself, stay healthy, and follow the guidelines.