When you dial 911 for emergency care, the actions you take while you are
waiting can have a significant impact on whether the condition progresses
as well as the kind of care that will be necessary when EMS arrives. As
you wait for an ambulance to take you to the
hospital, keep these strategies in mind.
Follow the 911 Operator’s Instructions
Depending on the nature of the emergency, the 911 operator may give you
important instructions to follow, such as applying pressure to a wound
that is bleeding heavily or attempting CPR on someone who is not breathing.
Do not disconnect from 911 unless the operator tells you to do so. While
you are on the phone, provide as much information as possible about the
emergency, so it can be relayed by the operator to the EMS team. If you
believe someone is
having a stroke or heart attack, use those words so that your call is prioritized appropriately.
Don’t provide any kind of care for the patient unless the 911 operator
instructs you to do so or tells you it is OK. This includes giving aspirin
to someone you think is having a heart attack or giving the patients anything
to eat or drink.
Make It Easy for the EMS Team
Before the ambulance arrives, turn on an outside light if it is nighttime,
and move any furniture that could obstruct their way in and out of the
house. Have someone stand outside to guide them to the address, if possible.
However, do not leave the patient alone to do this. If you are the only
one with the patient, wait for the EMS team arrives to do anything that
takes you away from the patient.
Stay Calm and Comforting
Having a medical emergency is scary. Although you may also be worried about
the patient’s health, stay calm during the crisis and offer your
comfort. If you panic, the patient may also panic, which could make his
or her condition worse.
EMS teams and 911 operators are integral parts of our emergency care team
at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center, and your actions in supporting
them makes providing high-quality emergency treatments possible. To learn
more about our hospital in Las Vegas and our
emergency services, call (702) 880-2700.