WHAT TO SAY WHEN CALLING FOR MEDICAL EMERGENCY
Spotting an ambulance on the UK roads is not hard. You can often see them flashing blue lights, making their way through traffic answering emergency calls. Medical emergency can arise anytime. It is very important to provide the right information over the phone to 999 in those panic moments, which helps save the much needed time.
What information will I need when I call 999?
When you call 999, an operator will ask you which emergency service you need. In a medical emergency, ask for the ambulance service and you will be put through to one of the call-takers.
You will need to have the following information available when you call 999:
- The location where you are, including the area or postcode.
- The phone number you are calling from.
- Exactly what has happened.
As soon as they know where you are, they will start arranging help for you.
You will also be asked to give some extra information, including:
- The patient’s age, gender and any medical history.
- Whether the patient is awake/conscious, breathing and if there is any serious bleeding or chest pain; and
- Details of the injury and how it happened.
Answering these questions will not delay the help process, but will help them give you important first aid advice whilst the ambulance is on its way. The extra information will also help them to make sure you get the most appropriate help.
What can I do before help arrives?
Before help arrives, you can do the following things, which will help the paramedics when they arrive:
- If you are in the street, stay with the patient until help arrives.
- Call the emergency back if the patient’s condition changes.
- Call the emergency back if your location changes.
- If you are calling from home or work, ask someone to open the doors and signal where the ambulance staff are needed.
- Lock away any family pets.
- If you can, write down the patient’s GP details and collect any medication that they are taking.
- Tell them if the patient has any allergies.
- Stay Calm- Ambulance staff are here to help. Violence and threatening behaviour aimed at them will not be tolerated and could delay help getting to the patient.
How can I be prepared for an emergency?
You can do the following things to help ambulance staff, should there be an emergency:
- Check that your house number can be seen from the road.
- If you live on an estate, check there is a clear sign to direct emergency services and that all lifts are working.
- If it’s dark outside turn on the lights to help ambulance staff to find you quickly.
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