Determine the location and quickest route to the nearest emergency department before an emergency happens.
Keep emergency phone numbers posted by the phone. Everyone in your household, including children, should know when and how to call these numbers. These numbers include: fire department, police department, poison control center, ambulance center, your doctors' phone numbers, contact numbers of neighbors or nearby friends or relatives, and work phone numbers.
Know at which hospital(s) your doctor practices and, if practical, go there in an emergency.
Wear a medical identification tag if you have a chronic condition or look for one on a person who has any of the symptoms mentioned.
Get a personal emergency response system if you are elderly, especially if you live alone.
WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE NEEDS HELP
Remain calm, and call your local emergency number (such as 911).
Start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or rescue breathing, if necessary and if you know the proper technique.
Place a semiconscious or unconscious person in the recovery position until the ambulance arrives. DO NOT move the person, however, if there has been or may have been a neck injury.
Upon arriving at an emergency room, the person will be immediately evaluated. Life- or limb-threatening conditions will be treated first. People with conditions that are not life- or limb-threatening may have to wait.
CALL YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY NUMBER (SUCH AS 911) IF:
Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, emergency medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.