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Medical Emergency: How To Be Prepared

What To Do If You Need An Ambulance

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You can typically receive care faster at the hospital if you arrive by ambulance. It is even better if you arrive in the hospital's ambulance because when you arrive at the hospital you are treated as if you are already the hospital's patient.

Know the quickest way to your ER. Don't drive yourself. Call 911 if you suspect a stroke or a heart attack. 

If you have a preferred hospital, keep the telephone number of the hospital's ambulance service posted near your phone, or even better, pre-programmed in your phone.Patients who are picked up by ambulance can choose which hospital to go to, if circumstances and travel time allow. However, if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency you should be taken directly to the nearest emergency room. 

Prior to actually needing an ambulance, determine if your insurance will cover the fee and under what conditions. If your insurance covers ambulance service, determine the name and phone number of the ambulance service you prefer and keep it in your wallet as well as in a visible place in your house "just in case." If you have a problem, use an ambulance to get to the emergency room.

If your plan does not cover ambulance service and you are experiencing a medical emergency call 911. You can worry about payment at a later time.

If you are experiencing chest pains, symptoms of stroke, a severe asthma attack or another possibly urgent medical condition, call 911 immediately. Recent studies indicate that 92 out of 100 people experiencing symptoms of heart attack, first called a neighbor or spouse. Several hours were lost while they decided what to do. Make the phone call to a neighbor or loved one only after emergency help is on its way.

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