As Dr. Natalie Shum of
West Hills Hospital & Medical Center explains in this video, shortness of breath is always a cause for concern.
Whenever you or someone you love experiences it, it is important to seek
medical care as soon as possible to find out the cause and get treatment.
Although some causes of shortness of breath are easy to manage, others
can be life-threatening, which is why it is so important to seek emergency
care. Here are some of the potential causes of shortness of breath that
require treatment in the ER.
Shortness of breath frequently occurs with a heart attack, when oxygenated
blood cannot be pumped efficiently by the heart. The shortness of breath
associated with a heart attack may come on suddenly, or it may appear
slowly, over the course of several days, before a heart attack. If you
notice that you are becoming winded when doing simple activities like
walking across a room or that you have shortness of breath that gets worse
when you lay down and improves when you sit up, then get your symptoms
checked out in the ER in case a heart attack is to blame.
A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that forms in the lungs. In addition
to chest pain and a cough, it can cause shortness of breath and rapid
breathing. Pulmonary embolism is an extremely serious condition that requires
immediate emergency care. Left untreated, a pulmonary embolism can be
fatal, so getting a fast diagnosis and beginning treatment as soon as
possible is essential.
Anaphylaxis is an immune system reaction to an allergen that can cause
sudden and severe shortness of breath. With anaphylaxis, urgent treatment
is required to stop the reaction and restore normal body functioning,
including breathing. Although an EpiPen injection can put a stop to the
initial reaction, emergency care is still required, even if the symptoms
Whatever your medical emergency, West Hills Hospital & Medical Center
is here around the clock to provide the care you need. Don’t let
your potentially serious symptoms go unchecked. Call us today at (818)
676-4321 for answers to your questions about emergency care and the other
services we offer at our
hospital in Las Vegas.