Dealing with an emergency

Dealing with emergencies

It is important to be able to recognise an emergency and know what to do.

Nobody knows what is around the corner and any one of us could be faced with dealing with a medical emergency at any time.   Being able to recognise an emergency and respond quickly could save a life.

In the event of an emergency do not to delay calling an ambulance.  Paramedics have the skills and specialised equipment necessary to diagnose and provide life saving treatment in the home.  They are able to stabilise life threatening conditions and provide safe transport to the most appropriate hospital.

When should an ambulance be called?

Any condition when a life may be at risk or where there is severe pain:

  • Serious injury
  • Sudden chest pain
  • Severe loss of blood
  • Breathlessness
  • Fitting or convulsion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Suspected stroke – recognise the symptoms of stroke and act FAST
  • Severe allergic reaction – swollen lips or tongue, wheezing, generalised rash, collapse.
  • Severe burn.

Please do not delay calling an ambulance because of uncertainty.  You will not be criticised for calling an ambulance in the event of genuine concern but, no not use the 999 service for non-urgent matters because doing so may delay a person with life threatening symptoms receiving the help that they need.

Accident and Emergency Departments (A&E)

The major Accident and Emergency Departments are located at Morristown Hospital, Swansea and Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend.  A&E Departments are there to treat serious injuries and conditions posing an immediate threat to life.  They work with the 999 ambulance service to provide an emergency medical service.

It is important that the service is not used for any other purpose.  People with minor injuries or non-urgent conditions should use alternative services:

  • Consider self treatment for minor ailments.
  • Pharmacists are able offer advice on managing minor illness such as sore throat, cough and cold symptoms.
  • Minir Injuries Unit at Neath Port Talbot Hospital.
  • Walk-in Physiotherapy Service for minor sport injuries and muscle strains.
  • GP Service.
  • ‘Out of Hours’ GP service for more urgent conditions that do not pose an immediate threat to life.