An emergency is a life-threatening situation such as severe blood loss, burns or allergic reactions, chest pain, loss of consciousness and major trauma. Medical attention should be sought through attending your nearest A&E or calling 999 for an emergency ambulance.
Non – Emergency Urgent Care
There are urgent medical treatment centres you can visit when you need urgent medical attention but it’s not a life-threatening situation.
NHS 111 is a free service which is able to provide advice at any time when you are not sure what to do. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Use the button for the Online service or call 111 for the phone service.
NHS walk-in centres offer fast and convenient access to healthcare advice and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses. They are open from early morning to late evening, seven days a week. They are run by experienced NHS nurses, and you don’t need to make an appointment. Minor Injuries Units are for patients with less serious injuries, such as sprains, cuts and grazes. You do not need an appointment to visit an MIU.
Signs of a Medical Emergency
Use this to help recognise signs of serious or life threatening conditions such as Stroke, Heart Attack, Cardiac Arrest and Choking.
This is for when you are nowhere near trained caregivers. If you see these signs, seek professional help & advice as soon as possible.
Stroke – Acronym “FAST”
- F – Face. Ask the person to smile. Does the face look uneven?
- A – Arms. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift down or is it unable to move?
- S – Speech. Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Does their speech sound strange? Strange speech could be slurred, the wrong words may come out, or the person is unable to speak.
- T – Time to CALL 999.
Heart Attack – Acronym “STOP”
- S – Shortness of breath
- T – Tightness of the chest, or pressure – feels like an elephant sitting on the chest
- O – Other symptoms such as cold sweats, weakness or fatigue, heart palpitations, dizziness or even loss of consciousness
- P – Pain in the chest, throat, neck, jaw, arms or back
Cardiac Arrest – Acronym “NORB”
- NO-R: No Responsiveness. No response to tapping on shoulders.
- NO-B: No Breathing. The victim does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least five seconds.
If these signs of cardiac arrest are present, CALL 999.
Choking – Acronym “BAC To BAC”
- BAC – Breath, Cough. Breathing is difficult or noisy. Can’t Cough forcefully.
- To – Talk. Inability to Talk.
- BAC – Blue, Consciousness. Skin, lips and nails turning Blue. Loss of Consciousness.