Whidbey General Hospital

When to Call 911

If in doubt, call 911!

Often a layperson doesn’t know when to use emergency medical services. Sometimes, the need to call 911 is obvious. Other times, people unwisely ignore or put off dealing with a medical emergency. If you call 911, our paramedics and EMTs will help you determine the best course of action. Once on the scene, they will:

    • Talk with you about your condition.
    • Obtain vital signs.
    • Perform an exam.
    • Perform non-invasive diagnostic tests if indicated.
    • Administer emergency medication and transport you if needed.

You do not have to go to the hospital just because you called 911.

The ambulance team leader will discuss your case with you and may consult our Medical Program Director for further assistance. Together we will determine the best plan of action for you or your loved one.

Some reasons to call 911:

    • New onset of chest pain or a feeling of pressure in the chest, dizziness, or fainting
    • Recurrent chest pain unrelieved by three nitroglycerine tablets
    • Unusual shortness of breath
    • Dizziness or change in mental activity
    • Unusual neurological symptoms such as blurred vision or difficulty speaking

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Whidbey General EMS responded to more than 6,800 emergency calls in 2011.

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