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Knowing When to Seek Emergency Medical Transport for Yourself or Others

Medical emergencies can develop in the blink of an eye, and knowing when to call for emergency medical transport can make the difference between life and death. Consider these three things when deciding whether or not you should make the call:

Does your patient have a life-threatening condition?

Signs that a condition could be life-threatening include difficulty breathing, heart irregularities, unconsciousness, severe bleeding, deep lacerations, serious burns and severe allergic reactions. If someone has any of these symptoms, call for emergency medical help immediately.

Do you need instructions for first aid?

During a medical emergency, it can be quite difficult for individuals without medical knowledge to know how to stabilize a condition before professional help arrives. Once you call for emergency medical transport, ask the nurse or medic to give you directions on how to stabilize the victim’s condition before they arrive. The paramedic may direct you on how to stop bleeding, seizures or help the victim regain consciousness. Listen carefully to all instructions, ask questions if you need clarification and stay on the line until help arrives.

Are you unable to drive the patient or yourself to the hospital?

There are times you don’t know whether you need emergency medical transport or if you could take yourself to hospital safely. In such cases, don’t hesitate to call for urgent medical transportation. Also, if you feel like traffic conditions or distance to the emergency room could cause a delay in getting you to the hospital, seek emergency help. It’s better to seek help and not need it than to try to make it to the hospital yourself and end up worsening your condition.