independent

Monday 21 October 2019

999 112 when to call

You should always call 112 or 999 in a life-threatening emergency, if someone is seriously ill or injured, and their life is at risk.

The emergency services receive a large number of calls for patients who do not require an emergency response from an ambulance on blue lights and sirens but who could be treated more appropriately using a different pathway of care.

Examples of medical emergencies include (but are not limited to):

■ Chest pain ■ Difficulty in breathing ■ Unconsciousness ■ Severe loss of blood ■ Severe burns or scalds ■ Choking ■ Fitting or concussion ■ Drowning ■ Severe allergic reactions

If it is not a life-threatening emergency and you, or the person you are with, do not need immediate medical attention, consider other options before you dial 999:

■ Look after yourself or the patient at home. If you cannot stay at home, see if family or friends are able to help. ■ Talk to your local pharmacist. ■ Visit or call your GP. ■ Make your own way to your hospital emergency department

You can call an ambulance on 112 or 999. When you call the emergency services an operator will ask you which service you need. If it's a medical emergency, ask for the ambulance service and you will be put through to one of our call-takers. You'll be asked for information about the patient's circumstances, but there are also some things that you can do before help arrives. Remember: Before they can help you…. they have to find you!

The crews in emergency vehicles are often frustrated (especially at night) by householders who don't display easy-toread house or unit numbers/names on their homes. This may cause a delay in reaching the patient as the crew struggles to locate the incident address and find house numbers along a residential road.

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