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.