How to Handle 5 Medical Emergencies at Home?

17 December 2021

Article by: Dr Low Kwai Siong, Consultant Emergency Physician and Head of Accident and Emergency

Emergencies can happen any time, even when we are at the comforts of our homes. With some know-how on handling medical home emergencies, we can potentially save a life. In this issue, Dr Low Kwai Siong, shares useful tips on how you can manage 5 common home medical emergencies to keep yourself and your family safe.

Cuts and Wounds

  • If the wound is small, consider washing the wound under running tap water and apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding. Try to elevate the wound higher than your heart.
  • If the bleeding stops but shows signs of infection after a few days, seek medical help.
  • If applying direct pressure and elevating the wound failed to stop the bleeding, try applying indirect pressure (tourniquet). Seek medical attention immediately.

Breathing Difficulties

  • For asthma patients, do use your inhalers or medication. If there is no improvement, seek medical attention immediately.
  • For an allergic reaction, remove the causative factor (if known). If the symptoms are mild, get Over-TheCounter (OTC) medications. But if breathing difficulty worsens, seek medical help immediately.


  • Spot FAST - Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Slurred speech, and Telephone an emergency hotline. Act fast and get the person to the hospital immediately. You may call Sunway Medical Centre’s A&E at 03 5566 8888.
  • Do not feed the person any drinks or food, unless you suspect he is having low sugar. Then, you may rub something sweet such as honey on his lips.

Heart Attack

  • Calm the patient, have him/her seated and loosen any tight clothing.
  • If the patient has heart attack medication, pop it under the tongue and seek medical help immediately.

Sprained Joints or Fractured Bones

  • Minimise movement on the injured part.
  • To ease the swelling or pain, place an ice or cold pack on the injury for 20 minutes. Ensure that you wrap the ice or cold pack with a thin towel first before placing it on a fresh injury.
  • Put a rigid material (splint) next to the injury, and tie or tape it in place. Apply the splint at the injured part involving the 2 joints nearest to the injured part.
  • If toes or fingers become pale, numb or cold, loosen the splint immediately.