When To Call 999

When To Call 999

When to call 999

At some point, most people will either witness or be involved in an accident or experience a medical emergency.

Knowing what to do next and who to call can potentially save lives.

Life-threatening emergencies

Call 999 in a medical emergency. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

Medical emergencies can include:

• loss of consciousness
• an acute confused state
• fits that aren’t stopping
chest pain
breathing difficulties
• severe bleeding that can’t be stopped
severe allergic reactions
severe burns or scalds

Call 999 immediately if you or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke. Every second counts with these conditions.

Also call 999 if you think someone has had a major trauma, such as after a serious road traffic accident, a stabbing, a shooting, a fall from height, or a serious head injury.

Non-life-threatening emergencies

If it’s not a life-threatening emergency and you or the person you’re with doesn’t need immediate medical attention, please consider other options before dialling 999.

For example:

• self care at home
• calling NHS 111
• talking to a pharmacist
• visiting or calling your GP
• going to your local NHS walk-in centre
• going to your local urgent care centre or your local minor injuries unit
• making your own way to your local A&E department (arriving in an ambulance doesn’t mean you’ll be seen any quicker)

Choosing the best service for your needs will ensure the ambulance service is able to respond to the people who need help the most.

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