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A medical emergency is an injury or illness that poses an immediate threat to a person's health or life and which requires medical intervention by a doctor or hospital. The proper way to handle a medical emergency is to activate the emergency medical services system by calling 9-1-1. Call 9-1-1 for life-threatening conditions that require immediate hospital care. The 9-1-1 operator will usually request the caller's name and location and will need to know information about the person or people at risk, such as level of consciousness, injuries, name (if known), and any known chronic illnesses or medical conditions.

Please note that you do not have to dial 9 first to get an outside line when calling 9-1-1. Dialing 9 before 9-1-1 may actually delay your connection with the emergency operator.

If you are at the scene of a medical emergency:

  1. Assess the location and situation; assure the safety of yourself, the victim, and any bystanders.
  2. Check the victim for life-threatening conditions.

4.1 When to Call 9-1-1

Life-threatening conditions require immediate care. Call 9-1-1 when you or someone else has any of the following conditions:

  1. Unconsciousness;
  2. Persistent chest pain or discomfort;
  3. Difficulty breathing, or not breathing;
  4. No signs of circulation (no normal breathing, coughing or movement, no pulse);
  5. Severe bleeding;
  6. Shock;
  7. Seizure activity that lasts more than five minutes, recurs, results in injury, or occurs in someone who is pregnant or diabetic;
  8. Head injuries;
  9. A change in level of consciousness; or
  10. Broken or dislocated joints or bones (other than fingers or toes).

4.2 Provide This Information to the 9-1-1 Dispatcher

  1. Location;
  2. Facility name:
    1. Building name and street address;
    2. Room number and floor; and
    3. Phone number from which the call is being made;
  3. Caller's name;
  4. What happened;
  5. How many people are injured;
  6. Condition of injured person(s); and
  7. Care being provided.

Do not hang up before the dispatcher. The EMS dispatcher may have further questions and may provide first aid instructions over the phone until aid arrives.

See your Emergency Guide for more information and basic first aid procedures.

4.3 Medical Situations which Do Not Require a 9-1-1 Call

A serious injury or illness which requires treatment beyond first aid (e.g., stitches, stabilizing a fracture), but for which there is time to get to a hospital or emergency room without risk to the affected person, does not require a 9-1-1 call. An ambulance is not necessary in such cases. The injured or ill worker should proceed to or be taken to the emergency room of his or her choice.

A minor illness or injury may be treated by an EH&S occupational health nurse or may be self-treated using minor first aid. You should be aware of the individuals in your group who have completed first aid training, and of the location of the first aid kit in your work area.

The EH&S Occupational Health Clinic is located in the Yale Bldg on the third floor at J3-121. It is equipped to handle minor injuries or illnesses. Call EH&S to ensure that a nurse is available to assist you.

If you are unsure about what to do, call 9-1-1.

4.4 What to Do After Calling 9-1-1

  1. Call Security at 206.667.6000. A representitive of Security will escort the fire department to the victim. Meet the fire department and Security representatives on the floor on which the victim is located to direct them to the victim.
  2. Next, call an Occupational Health Nurse at 206.667.4866. He or she may respond to the site of the emergency to provide care until emergency services personnel arrive.
  3. If you are trained, provide first aid care to the victim based on the conditions found. If a patient is unconscious, shows no signs of circulation, and is not breathing, start administering CPR if you have been trained, or find someone who is trained, and obtain an automated external defibrillator (AED).