What happens when I call 999 in a medical emergency

When and how to call 999

Call 999 in a medical emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

Medical emergencies can include:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fits that are not stopping
  • Acute burns or scalds
  • Severe allergic reactions

What happens when I call 999 for a medical emergency?

You will be asked some questions to enable the call handler to assess the situation and decide the most appropriate course of action. These will include:

  • Where you are
  • What telephone number you are calling from
  • Details of the situation

Make sure you wait on the line until the call handler tells you they have all the information they need.  They may give you some advice on how to deal with the situation until an ambulance arrives, if needed.

How can you help if an ambulance is sent out to you?

  • If the emergency has happened in the home, try to ask someone to open the doors and direct the paramedics.
  • If the person’s condition deteriorates, call 999 again to make them aware.
  • Show the paramedics a copy of the contingency plan, if you have one. The plan will include details of the person’s GP as well as medication they are taking; this information is useful to the paramedics.

When and how to call NHS 111?

Can your GP help?

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