Know when it’s an emergency
Sometimes it is difficult to know whether your problem is serious or not. Here are just a few examples* of when you require emergency medical care – and you should call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency department.
- When you are experiencing pains or tightness in the chest
- When you have severe pain
- When you have shortness of breath
- When a person is choking or having difficulty breathing
- When you think you may have fractured or broken a bone, or have a wound that may need stitches
- When you have sudden, severe headaches, vision problems, sudden weakness, numbness and/or tingling in the face, arm or leg, trouble speaking, or dizziness
- If your child has diarrhea and vomiting and won’t eat or drink
- When a baby under six month has a fever over 38.5°C (101°F)
*If you have any doubts, call 9-1-1. The ambulance will take you to the appropriate emergency department.
- The ambulance can’t help you if they can’t find you
- Stay calm–give clear information
- Clear a path to the patient–move furniture, unlock doors
- If possible have someone meet the ambulance
- Be sure your house number is clearly visible from the street
- If you live in a house–turn on the outside lights at night
- If you live in an apartment–try to meet the ambulance at the lobby door and have the elevator ready.
- Do not move the patient, unless life is threatened.
What to do
Be prepared to answer the following questions related to the patient’s condition:
In Toronto, call the emergency number 9-1-1 for medical emergencies. Be sure to state your name, address of the emergency and phone number from where you are calling.