Are your respiratory symptoms emergent? Call 911 immediately or visit an ER near you.

Emergency symptoms are good at hiding.

Amina's family was celebrating Christmas when she and her daughter both came down with what they thought was the flu. Amina was weak. She had a fever. She felt like it took more effort than usual to breathe. All she wanted to do was sleep.

In hindsight, she admits that she put herself on the back burner to make sure her daughter was taken care of first.

Days went by and no matter how deep Amina would inhale, she could not catch her breath. Her husband took her to a local ER where they discovered her lungs were only operating at 20% capacity.

And that's the last thing Amina remembered until waking up on Valentine's Day.

She found out she had been transferred to Redmond Regional after her pneumonia diagnosis progressed to acute respiratory distress syndrome. Amina's entire body began shutting down. Lungs. Liver. Kidneys. She began dialysis, ate through a feeding tube, and eventually was put on life support. All from influenza.

Fortunately, Amina is alive today because of the care she received from the lung specialists at Redmond Regional.

When to Worry About Shortness of Breath

Sudden, severe or ongoing symptoms like Amina's could be pneumonia or a respiratory emergency in disguise.

Shortness of breath is a red alert: Difficulty breathing is one of the number one reasons people go to the ER.

If you experience breathing problems so severe that it interferes with the activities of daily living, call 911 for an ambulance or have someone drive you immediately to the ER.

Other cues to watch for include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Cold flashes
  • Persistent cough
  • Pain that spreads to your arm, neck, jaw or back

When people ask me how I'm feeling, I say 'grateful.' Redmond was my saving grace and during my four months there, they became my family. I am thankful to be alive.