You or a loved one may be injured or seriously ill. Or you may be the first person at an accident scene. Do you know what to do? Speed is crucial in a medical emergency. Knowing how to respond quickly can help save lives.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a team of emergency professionals. It includes paramedics, doctors, nurses, police, and firefighters. In many places, dialing 911 connects you with EMS. If your community doesn't have a 911 system, find out what number to call in an emergency. It's often listed in the front of the phone book. Your children should also know how to summon help. Teach them to dial 911, or keep emergency numbers posted by the phone. Be sure to teach them how to call from a cell phone or smartphone too. Have someone else call for help if you need to care for an injured person.
Not all illnesses or injuries need urgent care. But you should call EMS if the person:
Doesn't have a pulse
Is unconscious or semiconscious
Has trouble breathing
Has severe stomach or chest pain
Has severe burns or bleeding
Is vomiting blood or passing blood in stool or urine
Has moderate or severe head, neck, or back injuries
Has a broken bone
Is drowning or had a near-drowning
Has a new seizure or prolonged seizure
When you call for help, remain calm. Speak slowly and clearly. Stay on the line until you're told to hang up. Be sure to provide the following information:
Your name, address, and phone number
The exact location of the person needing help
The nature of the problem
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.