WHEN TO CALL AN AMBULANCE
Be aware of the warning signs of HEART ATTACK or STROKE. Extensive info can be found at the Newfoundland and Labrador Heart and stroke website.
If you are unsure if you or a loved one require ambulance assistance, try asking the following questions:
- Is the person’s condition life-threatening?
- Could the person’s medical condition change or worsen and become life or limb-threatening on the way to the hospital?
- Could moving the person cause further injury or complications?
- Does the person need immediate medical attention?
- Would time be a factor and could environmental conditions cause a delay in getting the person to the hospital?
If you answered yes to any of these questions is or if you are unsure, call an ambulance immediately. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff are trained to begin interventions and medical treatment on the Scene and on the way to the hospital. This prevents any unnecessary delay’s that could occur if the patient is driven to the emergency department by a friend or family member.
When your call is answered by the local Dispatch please speak calmly and clearly. Give your name, the address, phone number, location of patient (such as upstairs in the bedroom) and nature of the problem.
DON’T HANG UP THE PHONE UNTIL THE DISPATCHER TELLS YOU TO DO SO.
They may need additional information or need to give you instructions.
ENSURE THAT LOCATION AND CONTACT NUMBER IS PROVIDED AS SO AS POSSIBLE, IF THE CONNECTION IS LOST THE DISPATCHER WILL KNOW WHERE TO SEND THE AMBULANCE.
In cases such as heart attack and strokes, every minute counts. If you suspect a heart attack or stroke, call for an ambulance immediately.
OTHER CONDITIONS THAT MAY REQUIRE THE SERVICES OF AN AMBULANCE
- Weakness or dizziness that does not go away.
- Sudden confusion and altered level of consciousness.
- Frequent nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and/or severe abdominal pain
- Head injury (especially if you lost consciousness, fainted, or became confused)
- Neck or spinal injury (especially with loss of feeling or motion in a part of your body) Do not move a person with this type of injury unless it is a life and death situation such as fire, drowning or they are located in an extremely dangerous area.
- Large cut or wound even if it’s not bleeding
- Injury to the core area of the body or an extremity injury to a joint or limb with loss of use, swelling, and severe pain
- Serious burns or inhalation of smoke or other poisonous fumes
- Severe allergic reactions from insect bites, food or medications or unknown origin.
- High fever that cannot be controlled or any fever if you are receiving cancer medications
- Sudden high fever with neck stiffness and headache
- Drug/alcohol overdose and or poisoning
- Suicidal thoughts or self-harm
- Breathing problems
- Chest pain, especially of suspected Cardiac origin.
These are just some, but certainly not all of the reasons to call for an Ambulance and in no way constitutes the full scope of emergency situations. If you have anything that requires urgent care call for an Ambulance and when In doubt call for an Ambulance.