If you do not follow the instructions concerning our policy on external links
your submission will be sent to the spam folder.
“Dispatchers at 911 centers have step-by-step instructions for all types of emergencies,” Clark says. “It’s important for the caller not to panic and hang up too soon. This could mean the person won’t get information that could be life-saving. For example, if the problem is chest pains, the dispatcher knows what to ask and what to do.”
2. Honesty can save a life.
Don’t withhold information from an EMT. This is especially important when illegal drugs are involved. An emergency is not the time to try to shield someone from legal consequences, or protect a reputation.
“Being honest will save time for the emergency staff when they are trying to figure out what’s going on with an individual,” Clarks says. “That time saved may determine whether the person lives, is impaired, or dies.”
3. Have all information on medications and medical history ready and available.
“It’s a good idea to have a complete list of medications – including dosages – and medical history in writing,” Clark says. “This can be kept on the refrigerator and in a wallet with other ID. Family members should also have a copy. Bracelets that have an individual’s medical information are also available.”
Medical history should include surgeries and medical conditions. The EMTs need to know if a person has asthma, severe allergies, or heart problems, for example, in order to decide on a life-saving procedure.
4. Use a landline when possible, not a cell phone, to call 911.
Calling from a landline can save your life because the dispatcher will be able to pinpoint your location in an instant. This directs the EMTs to the exact location and saves precious time.
5. Consider an app.
The continual increases in technology have made many apps for smart phones available. These apps, such as the In Case of Emergency app (ICE), can store information for paramedics. The ICE app, available for a small fee, allows paramedics to access medical information on a smart phone without having a password. The information is added to the phone’s lock screen and provides EMTs with important information regarding the condition, medications and emergency contacts of the phone’s owner.
6. Find the best emergency facility, not necessarily the closest.
Do research ahead of time. If one is being being treated on an outpatient basis for a serious heart condition that could lead to the need for emergency care, find out at which hospital the primary doctor practices, and what the best facility is for emergency heart care. Also, not all emergency rooms are equipped to deal with children. Many hospitals are not trauma centers, or equipped for every emergency.
Within the IU Health system, Methodist Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children are both certified as top trauma centers (Riley Hospital is certified for children). Ball Memorial Hospital, Bloomington Hospital and Arnett Hospital are also certified trauma centers, according to Clark.