When to Call 911

Emergency situations can be scary. Should you call 911 or is it safe to transport the victim to an emergency room yourself? The following are some guidelines for situations in which you should call 911 for assistance:

Keep in mind, these are only guidelines for when to call 911. There may be other circumstances where calling 911 is necessary and urgent. Please trust and use your best judgment.

Call 911 Immediately if the Person:

  • Has any medical condition or serious injury that appears to be life-threatening or interfering with bodily functions
  • Is unconscious (cannot be awakened), is confused, or is having a seizure
  • Is not breathing or does not have a pulse
  • Has any serious injury (this may include a head injury or neck pain)
  • Has severe abdominal pain
  • Is about to give birth, but is unable to get to hospital
  • Has severe burns
  • Has swallowed potentially poisonous or dangerous substances, or gotten them in their eyes
  • Has chest pain (often accompanied by nausea, difficulty breathing, or pain to the arm or jaw)
  • Has difficulty breathing or a feeling of being smothered
  • Has bleeding that cannot be stopped by applying direct pressure to the area
  • Has sudden symptoms of paralysis, weakness, difficulty speaking, loss of vision, headaches and dizziness
  • Is drowning or almost drowning

Facts You'll Need to Know when Calling 911

If you ever need to call 911, here is what you need to know before calling:

You Might Get a Busy Signal

Better equipment and more dispatchers are being added all the time, but having to dial 911 a second time does happen. Be prepared to do it.

Explain Your Situation Slowly and Calmly

Be ready to say if you need police, fire or medical aid. You may need to explain your problem to two different people to get the exact help you need.

Be Ready to Say Where Help Needs to Go, such as Exact Address and/or Cross Streets

Wireless calls, like those from cellular phones, cannot help the dispatcher pinpoint your location. You will have to know and be able to communicate where you are.

Don't Hang Up Until Told to Do so by the 911 Operator

The dispatcher may ask you additional important questions or give you instructions regarding what to do until help arrives. This will not delay the arrival of help.

When to Go to an Urgent Care Center

What if the situation is not a true emergency, but you still need medical attention right away?

Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Institute operates five Urgent Care Centers for our communities that are equipped to handle a variety of urgent medical needs, such as:

  • Colds and flu-like symptoms
  • Allergies and allergic reactions
  • Contusions and lacerations
  • Headaches and body aches
  • Minor burns
  • Cuts and bites
  • Falls, sprains, strains and broken bones

Our Urgent Care Centers in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, San Pedro and Torrance offer day, evening and weekend walk-in service, with extended hours, while providing high-quality, non-emergency medical care services in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

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