How You Can Help in a Medical Emergency?

Know What to Say.



  • Calling for help is easy. Just dial 9-1-1. The information you give the emergency dispatch operator helps EMS help you.


  • Stay calm, speak clearly, and stay on the phone until the emergency operator tells you to hang up.


  • Tell the emergency dispatch operator where to find the person needing emergency care, who is hurt or sick, and what happened. The emergency


  • operator will also need to know what condition the victim is in and if any help is being given.


  • Give the exact location of the emergency. Point out any landmarks – nearby intersections, bridges, and buildings that will help the ambulance crew find you. And leave your name, address, and telephone number in case the emergency operator needs to get back in touch with you.


Know What to Tell the Emergency Dispatcher


When you call 911:


  • Describe the emergency; speak slowly and calmly


  • Give your name and phone number


  • Give exact location/address and nearby landmarks


  • Give name, age and number of patient(s), if known


  • Follow the dispatcher’s instructions and answer all questions


  • Don’t hang up until you are told to do so


  • Don’t leave the scene until help arrives


Know What to Do Until Help Arrives


You’ve called for help. The ambulance is on the way. What do you do while you wait?


If the emergency operator gives you specific instructions, remember them and carry them out. Don’t move someone who is injured unless he or she is in danger. Try to keep the person as warm and comfortable as possible. If someone else is with you, send him or her to meet the ambulance. Make it easy for the ambulance crew to spot you by turning on a porch light.

Know What to Do While Waiting for the Ambulance to Arrive

What to do for the patient:


  • Stay calm, keep patient calm


  • Keep patient awake and warm


  • Do not give the patient anything to eat or drink


  • Do not move a person who has been in a car accident, had a serious fall or is unconscious, unless he or she is in immediate danger


  • Perform first aid if you are willing and able


Know What to Do for Yourself and Your Families:


  • Arrange for children to stay with a friend or neighbor


  • Pack a small bag for yourself


  • Bring insurance cards and family/friends contact information


  • Lock up the house, turn off all appliances


Know What to Do for the Emergency Responders:


  • Light your location with a porch light or turn on a vehicles emergency flashers


If possible:


  • Send someone to the street to flag down the ambulance


  • Clear a route to the patient; move cars, furniture, plants, etc.


  • Close off pets from rescuers; put pets in another part of the house


  • Gather or write down all the patient’s medications and allergy information to give to first responders


Note the time:


  • When did you last talk with the patient?


  • How long has the patient had this medical problem?


  • If unconscious, how long has it been?


Check to see if the patient has any advance directives
            (such as Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders)





What Is A True Medical Emergency?


When should you call 911? Ask yourself the following questions:


  • Is the victim's condition life or limb threatening?

  • Could the victim's condition worsen and become life or limb-threatening on the way to the hospital?

  • Could moving the victim cause further injury?

  • Does the victim need the skills or equipment of paramedics or emergency medical technicians?

  • Would distance or traffic conditions cause a delay in getting the victim to the hospital?



What Are Some Examples?


Know which symptoms to watch for. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians and other national organizations, the following are some of the warning signs of a medical emergency:


  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath

  • Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure

  • Fainting or loss of consciousness

  • Unresponsiveness when talked to or touched

  • Drowning

  • Unexplained seizures or convulsions

  • Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision

  • Mental change (such as confusion, unusual behavior, difficulty waking or speaking)

  • Unexplained severe headache

  • Sudden or intense pain

  • Bleeding that won't stop

  • Severe vaginal bleeding

  • Coughing up or vomiting blood

  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings

  • Choking

  • Severe burns

  • Allergic reaction

  • Trauma (injury)

  • Hypothermia or abnormally low body temperature

  • Heat stress or exhaustion

  • Motor vehicle accident injury

  • Industrial accident

  • Drug overdose or poisoning

  • Neck or back injury

Wayne County E.M.S.

111 Jim Hill Service Road

Monticello, KY 42633 

Tel: (606) 348-3302

Fax: (606) 348-3304

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