Spontaneous abortion is another term for miscarriage. It refers to the loss of the fetus before 20 weeks. The abortion happens on its own without any external intervention. When a spontaneous abortion happens, women might experience stomach cramps and vaginal bleeding. For some women the cramps might worsen when the vaginal bleeding contains fetal tissue. To confirm a spontaneous abortion, an ultrasound is needed. If the tissue after abortion is not expelled completely, it could lead to infection. Left untreated, it might lead to septic abortion which is a life-threatening condition. When an incomplete abortion is suspected, doctors might recommend a procedure called D&C (dilatation and curettage) to prevent septic abortion. However, when the abortion is complete there is no need for D&C.
It is common for mothers to experience guilt and disappointment after a miscarriage. Emotional support from family at this time will help immensely. Doctors will also guide them on how to handle the next pregnancy.
Traumatic Brain Injury
When the head/brain experiences a sudden forceful impact, it might suffer a traumatic brain injury. Usually the result of road traffic accidents, bad falls, violent acts, etc. the brain might get bruised and the nerves in the brain injured. Sometimes, the skull itself can be fractured and in such cases a piece of the skull might pierce the brain. Symptoms for a traumatic brain injury vary from headache and vomiting to vision issues and cognitive problems. A brain injury requires immediate medical attention. Doctors will order a CT scan to examine the brain thoroughly. They will also keep a check on any increase in brain pressure.
For mild injuries, rest and observation should be sufficient. In case of pain, doctor will prescribe pain killers. When the injury is bad and requires emergency care, the doctor will make sure the brain is receiving sufficient oxygen and blood pressure is kept under control. Treatment will progress depending on the injury sustained. Emergency surgery might also be performed. Typically, after traumatic brain injuries rehabilitation will be needed.
Heart attack is a condition wherein plaque builds up on the artery walls and inhibits flow of blood through the arteries. Sometimes, the plaque might break and cause a clot. This clot will also block the blood flow. When the blood does not reach all the parts of the heart, those parts will suffer damage. This condition is called a heart attack and it requires immediate medical attention. The symptoms of a heart attack vary greatly – from no symptoms at all to chest pain, breathlessness, fatigue, etc. Patients should become alert when they experience chest pain which has its onset with physical activity and disappears with rest. This is called an angina and when it is diagnosed early, treatment can also start early. The doctor will order an ECG and blood tests. Treatment will focus on making sure the blood flow to the heart is restored. The doctor might perform an angioplasty to open a blocked artery. Sometimes, a bypass surgery will be done to bypass or avoid the blocked artery.
Trauma patients are those who have sustained life-threatening injuries. Trauma treatment deals with rendering immediate care to those people who are fighting for their lives. Doctors who have a lot of expertise in treating trauma cases will make a part of the trauma unit. After being treated at the trauma unit the patient will be shifted to other departments, depending on the nature of the injury. Traumas include the following:
- Burn injuries
- Extreme road traffic accidents
- Severe brain damage
- Being hit with force
- A puncture wound caused by stabbing
When there is not enough oxygen or when there is an excess of carbon di oxide, the condition is called respiratory failure. A person suffering from respiratory failure will exhibit trouble breathing, blue skin coloration and dullness. The need for emergency care increases when the person is unable to talk and is gasping for breath. The person might even lose consciousness. Acute respiratory failure needs emergency treatment. Immediate treatment involves making sure the person gets enough oxygen and removing carbon di oxide. After ensuring the patient is stable, treatment for the cause will commence.
Treatment techniques include:
- Using an oxygen mask
- A surgical procedure called tracheostomy wherein a hole is made in the neck and a tube placed at the wind pipe to increase the volume of oxygen reaching the lungs
- Connecting the patient to a ventilator
- IV fluids to boost the flow of blood
A fracture is a crack or a complete break in the bone. They might be caused by road traffic accidents, a bad fall from a height, playing contact sports or by health conditions like osteoporosis. Fractures are classified as simple and compound. In a simple fracture, the skin remains intact and diagnosis is not possible without an x-ray. Compound fracture involves injury to the skin. Sometimes even the bones could be visible in a compound fracture. Not all fractures need emergency treatment, but they must be examined by a doctor without delay. If the fracture has a bone sticking out or if the injured part of the body is visibly deformed, then emergency treatment is necessary. Treatment involves:
- Positioning the bone properly – the doctor will set the bone in the correct position.
- Putting splints and casts to restrict movement – this is crucial for the proper setting of the fracture.
- Medication to deal with the pain.
- Surgery, if required, to set the bone – for simple fractures the doctor might prefer to wait till inflammation subsides.