Even though many ambulances can arrive on the scene of an emergency in minutes, waiting for the ambulance can feel like a lifetime. You might feel helpless while you’re waiting for paramedics to arrive, but what you do in these moments can have a huge impact on the outcome of the situation. With that in mind, we wanted to share some things you should do (and some things you shouldn’t) while you’re waiting for an ambulance to arrive during an emergency.

What To Do While Waiting For An Ambulance

Every emergency is different, so while you may have to think on your feet a bit, it’s oftentimes helpful to do these things while you’re waiting for an ambulance to arrive on scene.

Do Remain Calm – While this is easier said than done at times, it’s important that you take a breath and try to remain calm until help arrives, especially when talking to the 911 dispatcher. If you’re speaking frantically or the dispatcher can’t understand what you’re saying, it can cause delays in getting an ambulance to your location.

Do Stay On The Line – You’re counting the seconds until medical help arrives, but don’t forget that you have a professional on the line that can help talk you through the situation and provide some helpful advice. Keep the dispatcher on the line so that they can help direct you during CPR or answer any situational questions you might have.

Do Be As Specific As Possible When Describing Your Location – Giving helpful instructions as to your location is easy when you’re at a residence with a physical address, but if you’re out on a hiking trail or on the beach and an emergency strikes, be thorough when describing your location. If you don’t know the location, ask anybody else on the scene or use your phone’s map tool to help pinpoint your location, then relay this and any other helpful information like landmarks or access points to the dispatcher.

Do Help The Injured Party – While you’re waiting for an ambulance to arrive, do what you can to help the injured party. For some that might simply mean waiting with the individual in a shaded area until help arrives. For others it may mean providing CPR or delivering epinephrine to someone having an allergic reaction. Do whatever you can to assist the person in need of medical attention.

What Not To Do While Waiting For An Ambulance

On the flip side, here are some things you’ll want to avoid while waiting for paramedics to arrive on scene.

Don’t Try To Drive The Person Closer To The Hospital – You might think that cutting down the distance between the hospital and the emergency scene could be helpful, but if the dispatcher doesn’t know your precise location, they aren’t going to be able to give reliable directions to the ambulance. Unless it is advised by the dispatcher, which is extremely rare, avoid the temptation to try and drive the injured individual closer to help.

Don’t Provide Medication Unless Instructed – If the emergency involves an allergic reaction, possible heart attack or diabetic episode, it’s helpful to see if the individual is carrying any medication that could prove beneficial. However, never administer medication without running it by the dispatcher. Improper dosage or administering certain medications can interfere with how the paramedics provide lifesaving care. Never administer medication unless directed.

Don’t Move Someone With A Suspected Head Or Neck Injury – Unless the individual is in a life-threatening location, don’t move an individual who is suffering from a possible head or neck injury. Instead, help them remain calm and still until they can be safely examined and moved by medical personnel.

Don’t Leave The Person Alone – Finally, never leave the victim alone unless it is absolutely necessary in order to get a signal to call 911. Stay with the victim so that you can monitor their vitals and intervene if necessary. You can send others to wait outside for the ambulance or check for a defibrillator, but never leave the injured party alone if you can help it.

If you do some of these things and avoid the others, we’re confident that you’ll be helping the victim get the best care possible while waiting for an ambulance. For more tips, or for more information about how our crew can help provide you with life saving services during an emergency, reach out to the team at Gold Cross Ambulance today at (920) 727-3020.

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