Know When You Should Call an Ambulance — BIMC has what is regarded as the island’s fastest first responder ambulance service but to do their jobs properly requires vital clear and accurate call in information to be able to assess when someone is seriously ill or hurt and whether it is better to call an ambulance, go to A&E or to a BIMC GP.
We need to glean essential information from you before dispatching our team with this extremely difficult and critical decision and that starts by knowing if the casualty occurred to an elderly person, baby or very young child. Children can often mask serious symptoms and their condition can then quickly deteriorate.
The decision you make will vary from case to case, but we would strongly advise you to immediately administer First Aid and call an ambulance if someone:
- Appears not to be breathing
- Is having chest pain, difficulty breathing or feeling weak, numb or struggling to speak
- Experiencing severe bleeding that you are unable to stop by applying direct pressure on the wound
- Is struggling for breath, possibly breathing in a strange way appearing to “suck in” below their rib cage as they use other muscles to help them to breathe
- Is unconscious or unaware of what is going on around them
- Has a fit for the first time, even if they seem to recover from it later
- If they are having a severe allergic reaction accompanied by difficulty in breathing or collapse
- If a child is burnt and the burn is severe enough to need dressing – treat the burn under cool running water and call an ambulance. Keep cooling the burn until the paramedics arrive and look out for signs of shock
- If someone has fallen from a height, been hit by something travelling at speed (like a car) or been hit with force and there is a possibility of a spinal injury
- If someone is unconscious from a swimming accident in a pool or oceanside
Generally, one does not get seen by a doctor any faster in A&E if you arrive by ambulance therefore it’s important to take someone straight to A&E if they have:
- A fever and are floppy and lethargic
- Severe abdominal pain
- A cut that is gaping or losing a lot of blood, if they have amputated a finger or if there is something embedded in the wound
- A leg or arm injury and can’t use the limb
- Swallowed poison or tablets and are not showing any adverse effects
See your BIMC Doctor:
For less serious and non life threatening medical concerns. Most importantly – trust your instincts. If you are seriously worried, administer First Aid and get medical help quickly.
If you manage a tourism related company, it is strongly advised that you attend a BIMC First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.
Know When You Should Call an Ambulance — Health-e reporting with sources Bimc Bali