As we discussed in Part 1, making the decision to drive or call for an ambulance during a medical emergency, in the moment, can be a tough decision to make. You are torn between whether you can drive more quickly to an emergency room in Houston, TX, as opposed to waiting for an ambulance to arrive. While driving may seem like the quicker solution, it’s not always the best one. In a true medical emergency, the first responders and EMT have the tools and experience needed to tend to the injured or sick person.
Though not an exhausted list, listed below are common symptoms and signs that point to a medical emergency and warrant a call to 9-1-1.
Shortness of breath or breathing difficulty
Pain in the chest or upper abdomen that lasts two minutes or longer
Dizziness, weakness or fainting
Vision changes, such as double vision
Sudden, severe pain
Bleeding that won’t stop after 10 minutes or longer
Coughing up blood
Severe allergic reaction
When you are calling 9-1-1 be sure you:
- Give the patient’s name, the address and phone number. If you’re on the road, note the street or highway you’re on and the direction you’re traveling.
- Briefly describe what’s going on and when the problem started.
- Don’t hang up until you’re sure the dispatcher has all the information needed and that you’ve followed any instructions they’ve given you.
It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a medical emergency. Calling an ambulance can save more than just time, it can save a life. When symptoms warrant it, call 9-1-1 for swift medical attention.