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Advance ER-24 Hour Emergency Room
Emergency sign

Should I Call 9-1-1 or Drive to the ER?

In a dire medical crisis, it is crucial to get on-site care as quickly as possible. If that means you must call the ambulance, then you should do it to save your life or someone else’s. If the condition threatens life and limb,. While it may seem faster, easier, and cheaper to hop in the car and drive yourself or someone else to the emergency room, you won’t be able to receive prompt treatment unless you call 9-1-1 and bypass the waiting room. Likewise, an ambulance can bypass traffic with their sirens, and they will know how to treat the individual without causing any further harm.

An ambulance is more than just a fast pass to the emergency room. The emergency medical technicians in the ambulance can provide relief en route, such as a person who is in shock and needs immediate IV fluids. After a heart attack or stroke, the EMT can perform an electrocardiogram and diagnose their condition definitively and accurately. The EMT can also inform the ER of the patient’s condition before they even arrive at the hospital.

If the individual is experiencing these common signs and symptoms indicating a medical emergency, refer to the guidelines from these guidelines of the American College of Emergency Physicians and contact 9-1-1 right away, and do not drive yourself or this person to the hospital:

  • The victim’s condition threatens life or limb
  • You do not have the skills or equipment to handle the medical emergency

Symptoms that Include the Need for an Ambulance

You should also dial 9-1-1 if you notice these symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or upper abdomen pain
  • Dizziness, weakness, or fainting
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Sudden double vision
  • Mental confusion
  • Severe pain with a quick onset
  • Coughing up blood
  • Bleeding that won’t stop after 10+ minutes
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylactic shock
  • A woman in labor and the trip to the hospital will take 15+ minutes

Advice When Calling 9-1-1

Understandably, you might be quite panicked in the situation that you have to dial the paramedics in this unfamiliar, frightening situationj. Remember, the more clearly you communicate the problem, the easier it will be for EMTs to administer the correct care the patient needs. Briefly describe what is happening, when the problem started, and don’t hang up the phone until you’re sure the dispatcher has all the information needed and you have instructions for what to do in the minutes leading up to the arrival of the ambulance.

While you wait for the arrival of the ambulance, gather your emotions if you are distraught about your sick loved one (another reason why you shouldn’t attempt to drive them). An ambulance is the safest way to get emergency medical care without the possibility of having an accident en route. If you’re the person who is sick or critically injured and you’re too disoriented to speak, you can still call 9-1-1. The dispatcher will be able to identify your location and send help (usually the police, a fire truck, and the ambulance will be on the scene if there is no clear reason why you’ve dialed 9-1-1).

When in doubt, don’t risk driving to the emergency room – call the ambulance. Give your name, the address of the emergency, the phone number you’re calling from, the location of the victim (whether they’re upstairs or on a sports playing field is a critical detail), and do not hang up until the dispatcher gives the go-ahead.

To contact Advance ER for further information, please dial (214) 494-8222 to learn more.

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