14:43 PM

4 Insights About 911

Calling 911 when you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency is the fastest and most efficient way to receive potentially life-saving care.

In the Pocono region, rapid response by emergency medical services (EMS) providers ensures patients receive optimal on-the-scene care and then transport to optimal emergency care at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Pocono. The synergy of emergency scene care provided by our EMS partners and emergency room care at LVH–Pocono improves patient outcomes every day.

“In the ambulance, we can assess your vital signs, give you oxygen if necessary and provide basic lifesaving medical treatment in your home and on the way to the emergency department,” says Dawn Stout, emergency medical services (EMS) and transport services manager at LVH-Pocono.

If you’re having a heart attack, for example, ambulance personnel can do an electrocardiogram (EKG) and transmit data to the hospital’s emergency department. Hospital staff also can prepare the cardiac catheterization lab or the operating room.

Four insights about 911

Your composure and ability to follow directions can help ensure emergency medical care gets to you quickly.

  1. When in doubt, always call
    Dialing 911 can be a tough decision. But as a general rule, it’s better to be safe than sorry. “When in doubt, you should always call,” Stout says. The call-taker can assess your circumstances and determine whether you need emergency help.

  2. Have information for 911 operator
    Be prepared to answer questions like: location of the emergency, street address, phone number you’re calling from and nature of the emergency. Don’t hang up until you’re told to do so.

  3. NEVER drive yourself to the ER
    And never have a friend or relative drive you, either. It can be dangerous for you and others. “We’ve had patients with chest pain drive themselves to the emergency department who had a heart attack en route,” Stout says. If you lose consciousness while driving, you can endanger other drivers. And if you’re being driven and your situation worsens, your driver may not know how to help you. You could also get stuck in traffic, wasting precious, life-saving minutes.

  4. Make sure they can find you
    In case of a medical emergency that requires an ambulance, make sure there’s a clear path to your home and that your house number is posted on your house so signage is clearly visible. “Do what you can to make it easy for us to find the right address, Stout says.” 

Print and complete our VItal Medical Information sheet and post in a visible place for first responders to reference if needed.