Every adult knows that calling 911 in an emergency is the right thing to do, yet many people fail to activate emergency services even in the midst of a life-threatening situation. In some cases, this is because patients do not recognize the subtle signs of a heart attack or they decide to wait and see if stroke symptoms will clear up on their own. Here at Riverside Community Hospital, our emergency care professionals strongly urge our neighbors throughout Riverside to call 911 without delay when a true medical emergency develops.
When you call 911 to get help for yourself or someone else, an ambulance will be sent to your location as quickly as possible. However, there may be something you can do in the meantime to help preserve the patient’s life. The 911 dispatcher can walk you through the steps of performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), aiding a choking victim, or using an automated external defibrillator (AED). Calling 911 instead of trying to drive someone to the ER can save that person’s life.
Another reason why it’s better to call 911 in emergency situations is because patients can begin receiving life-saving interventions from Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel as soon as the ambulance arrives. Emergency technicians and paramedics can quickly assess the patient’s condition, deliver oxygen therapy, use a defibrillator, or add a stabilizing neck brace, depending on the patient’s specific needs. The patient will continue to receive life-saving care while in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Patients who have suffered a heart attack, stroke, or major trauma need immediate care when they reach the hospital. If you drive a patient to the ER yourself, the ER team won’t be alerted to the patient’s impending arrival. Calling 911 instead lets the EMS team coordinate the patient’s care with the ER doctors. While the ambulance is on the way to the hospital, the ER team can assemble and prepare to treat the patient as soon as he or she arrives. In a life or death situation, every second counts.
Riverside Community Hospital maintains ER wait times that are consistently below the national average. At our community hospital, patients can receive specialized cardiovascular and neurological emergency care. You can direct general, non-emergent questions to our hospital at (951) 788-3463.