Life-threatening or Major Emergencies—Call Your Rescue Squad (911)
- Definition of life-threatening or major emergency
These children might need resuscitation en route (for example, coma, severe choking, not breathing, prolonged seizure) or need splinting before transportation (for example, major trauma or possible neck injury). These can be looked on as 5-minute emergencies and require a 911 call.
- Definition of rescue squad
These emergency vehicles are staffed by emergency medical technicians or paramedics. They are often based at local fire departments. They can usually be reached by calling 911 or 0.
- Advantages of a rescue squad over most ambulance services
Rescue squads always have personnel trained in emergencies and respond more rapidly.
Drive to the nearest hospital offering emergency services.
- Definition of non-life-threatening emergencies
These children need to be seen as quickly as possible but their condition is currently stable. Examples are poisonings, slow bleeding controlled by pressure, severe pain, and seizures that have stopped. These can be looked on as 20-minute emergencies.
- Advantage of a car over an ambulance
A private car is quicker and less expensive than an ambulance.
- Driving in to seek emergency care
Don’t leave until you know the exact location of the hospital you will be going to. Keep your sick child in a car safety seat. Try to have a neighbor accompany you. Drive carefully.
What To Bring With You to the Emergency Room
- your child’s immunization record
- your health insurance card
- your pharmacy’s telephone number
- any medicines your child is taking (or a list of drugs and dosages)
- your child’s security object or favorite toy
- if your child has been poisoned, the poison or its container
- if your child has passed blood in the urine, stool, or vomited material, a sample for testing
- if your child has painful urination, a urine sample.
Your child may not be seen immediately in the emergency room. Bring things for your child to do, such as books, toys, or a favorite stuffed animal.
Written by Barton D. Schmitt, MD, author of “My Child Is Sick”, American Academy of Pediatrics Books. Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-06-21
Last reviewed: 2011-06-06 This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. Pediatric Advisor 2011.4 Index
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