The human nervous system is a specific system that integrates all the activities of the human body. It receives and processes the received stimuli, sets the skeletal and muscular systems in motion, is responsible for the coordinated work of all organs. Therefore, it is not surprising that diseases of the nervous system affect the work of the entire body. They are treated by a neurologist. Nervous system disorders can take many forms and some of the symptoms may be mistakenly attributed to the malfunctioning of one of the other systems in our body.
Many symptoms may indicate a developing neurological disease. Many of them escape our observation, while others are so uncharacteristic that it is impossible to indicate a disease of the nervous system immediately. Symptoms may be the result of an ongoing infection, trauma, lack of certain vitamins, or skeletal degeneration that puts pressure on the nerves. If we are particularly concerned about something, it is worth paying attention. Sometimes neurological disorders are also confused with mental ones. So when is emergency neurological life support needed? What are the reasons you should worry about? When should you seek urgent help, and when can you make an appointment for a usual consultation?
Situations requiring immediate inpatient treatment
The main area of concern for neurologists is brain dysfunction and ignoring disturbing signals from the central nervous system that may have dire consequences. Quick reaction is what counts. Therefore, in the event of loss of consciousness, its impairing, the appearance of hallucinations, limb paresis or paralysis of the face, speech or vision disorders, difficulties with maintaining balance, or a sudden, severe headache, you should:
- immediately call an ambulance or, if it is still possible, go to the hospital by yourself;
- remember the time your or someone’s symptoms start – this information will be needed by the medical team;
- place the person in a comfortable position, do not give anything to drink or eat, provide mental support;
- if the person is unconscious, place him in the recovery position (placing a person on one side, and the lower arm under the head in a bent form, bending the upper leg at the knee);
- keep his airway open by tilting his head slightly back and control his breathing;
- if it happens at home, make sure you have the patient’s documents ready before the emergency team arrives – identity document, medical history, and a list of medications. If there are other people with you – ask them for help, and stay with the sick person, and monitor the condition;
- provide rescuers with the most accurate information possible about the time of onset of symptoms and loss of consciousness (if you know).
A visit to the hospital is also necessary when a loss of consciousness or other disorders of the central nervous system have appeared as a consequence of a head injury. Such ailments may not occur immediately. Sometimes they only appear a few days, and sometimes even weeks after the injury. Then you should also go to the hospital.
After the ambulance arrives, the person should go to the neurological department as soon as possible. At the ward, he will undergo a specialized brain examination:
- Most often it is computed tomography, which allows you to visualize what part of the brain has been affected by the stroke.
- If the person affected by the stroke is conscious, a neurological examination is also performed. In this case, the correctness of reflexes and the pupil’s reaction to light must be examined. The muscle strength and efficiency should be also assessed.
Hazardous situations that do not require an urgent visit to the hospital or neurological consultation
When the neurological disorders are not related to the head injury and are not emergency in nature an immediate visit to the hospital is not necessary. However, this does not mean that such cases do not require a neurological consultation. On the contrary. A quick examination will help determine the cause of the problem and implement the appropriate treatment. Situations requiring urgent neurological consultation include all incidents related to:
- loss of consciousness and disturbances in it,
- progressive disturbances in the field of memory, thinking ability, and emerging episodes of disorientation,
- worsening balance disorders,
- occurrence of hallucinations,
- weakened muscle tone,
- persistent headache, especially if worsening,
- unilateral pain or paralysis of the face,
- pain in the neck, back, and loin,
- pain in the limbs, especially when they are of increasing and intense nature.
When the cause of neurological disorders is not head trauma, they are not violent and their severity is low, then urgent neurological consultation is not needed. Anyway, there can be chronic headaches, neck, back, and limb aches, trembling hands, nervous tics, numbness and tingling in various parts of the body, dizziness, gradually increasing memory impairment. Waiting for consultations within the state health services will take several weeks. The waiting period for private visits is much shorter. With such clear, and worsening neurological symptoms, there is no point in waiting for a consultation, and it is worth choosing private treatment.
Neurologists say that all diseases are from the nerves, and they are right – neurological diseases are becoming an increasingly common problem every year. After all, regular stress and nervous strain affect our health. In the case of an emergency, it is very important to arrive at the hospital on time, successfully receive treatment and actively rehabilitate.