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May is a time we take to celebrate women in our lives, with Mother’s Day nestled in the middle of the month to recognize moms for all their contributions. This is also a time to reflect on health issues that predominantly or disproportionately affect women, educate on the importance of routine care, and highlight when it is essential to seek emergency medical attention.

“Women experience several health concerns at higher rates than men, including certain chronic conditions and reproductive health issues,” said Dr. Jessica Best, M.D., Medical Director at Ally Medical Emergency Room. “Heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis are more prevalent among women.”

Routine screenings, such as mammograms for breast cancer and bone density tests for osteoporosis, are vital. Regular check-ups can lead to early detection, which significantly improves treatment outcomes.

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When to Seek Emergency Care

While regular check-ups are crucial, knowing when to seek emergency care can be life-saving. Here are several scenarios where emergency care is necessary:

  1. Chest Pain or Heart Attack Symptoms: Women may experience non-traditional heart attack symptoms, including nausea, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, or extreme fatigue. Chest pain like pressure or a squeezing sensation should always be treated as a potential heart attack.
  2. Signs of Stroke: Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body, confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, trouble seeing, difficulty walking, dizziness, or severe headache with no known cause, are all signs that require immediate attention.
  3. Severe Respiratory Problems: Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and severe asthma attacks are conditions that need urgent care.
  4. Complications in Pregnancy: Severe stomach pain, bleeding, severe dizziness, or rapid swelling during pregnancy should prompt an immediate visit to the emergency room.
  5. Uncontrolled Bleeding or Severe Injury: Accidents that result in uncontrolled bleeding or severe injuries, such as from a fall or car accident, need emergency care.
  6. Mental Health Crises: Suicidal thoughts or behaviors, or severe mental health crises, are emergencies where immediate intervention is critical.

Improving Women’s Health Care Access

Despite the clear need for targeted health care, women often face significant barriers to accessing appropriate and timely medical treatment. Ally Medical Emergency Room’s core mission is to be available 24/7 and have little to no wait to be seen.

“With our eighth location opening this month Buda, our wrap-around care teams are always available to provide on-site lab testing, CT scans and X-Ray, as well as a host of other specialties,” Dr. Best said.

Ally Medical ER also wants to empower women with medical knowledge through CPR training and Basic Life Support certification. You can sign up for an upcoming class near you on our CPR Trainings page.

Woman doctor smiling.

Dr. Best, M.D.