EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES
The Emergency Medical Service (EMS) ambulance in KAUST is operated by KAUST Health and can be reached by dialing 911 from a KAUST landline and 012-808-0911 from a mobile phone. The service is designed to provide an immediate response to patients with life-threatening situations. EMS ambulance should therefore be called during medical emergencies. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Calling 911 for non-medical emergencies could cost lives. The EMS is always on stand-by for true emergencies where every second counts. The speedy arrival of an emergency ambulance could mean the difference between life and death for a seriously injured or ill person. If calls to 911 are inappropriate, answering and responding to these non-emergencies could detract the ability to respond to real emergency situations
It is important to understand the implications of dialing 911 when we need an ambulance service. Please familiarize yourself with the recommended use of this service as below, and consider whether an ambulance is needed or whether private transport or a taxi would be more appropriate. With appropriate use of the EMS, we can ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of its operation.
When Should You Call an Emergency Medical Service Ambulance?
An emergency ambulance service is required when an illness or injury could result in death or serious complication if it is not treated immediately. The following is a guide to cases classified as emergencies:
- Drowsiness or unconsciousness where the person cannot be roused
- Difficulty in breathing or choking
- Sudden or severe chest pain
- Sudden or severe abdominal pain that will not go away
- Dislocated or broken bones
- Deep cuts or wounds with profuse bleeding
- Head injuries that are followed by drowsiness, vomiting, bleeding (from the ears, nose or mouth) or unusual behaviour
- Injuries to chest, abdomen, pelvis or spine (neck and backbone)
- Fall from heights
- Poisoning e.g. inhalation of toxic gases or drug overdose resulting in unconsciousness and respiratory distress
- Crushed injuries
- Severe allergy
- Burns and scalds - deep with white or charred skin or covering a large area bigger than the size of a hand, or covering the face
- Any burn caused by electric shock or by lightning
Patients arriving by EMS ambulance will be given priority in treatment at the Emergency Department. ALL patients arriving at Emergency Department will be assessed by the medical staff. Those assessed as critical will be attended to first, followed by non-emergency cases.
Calling an Emergency Medical Service Ambulance Operator
Once you have identified that the patient's condition requires emergency treatment, dial 911 to reach the Emergency Medical Service Ambulance Service. Remind yourself to stay calm because your rational actions might just save the patient's life.
To facilitate a faster response to the patient, you should do the following:
- Identify yourself and provide a telephone contact number –house telephone number or mobile number.
- Provide the specific location of the patient.
- Try to keep details to a minimum; describe the patient's signs and symptoms briefly e.g. male, Chinese, age 67 years, having severe chest pain since 2 minutes ago, breathless sweating.
- If you do not know what to say, it will be more helpful for you to listen to the 911 Operator and answer his questions as best you can.
- Do not hang up until the 911 Operator does so. He/She may need additional information or directions and may have some instructions for you to follow before the ambulance arrives.
- Send somebody if available to wait for the ambulance crew e.g. by holding the lift if necessary, waiting outside your house and directing the ambulance crew to the patient.
- Standby to assist if required.
What is a Non-Emergency?
A non-emergency does not end in death or serious complication if it is not treated immediately. These include one of the following:
- Slight abdominal pain e.g. gastric
- Slight fever, coughs and colds
- Aches and pains which have been present for a long time
- Minor bruises, slight cuts or broken skin
- Slight burns or scalds
- Mild vomiting, diarrhea or constipation
- Medical check-up or clinic follow-up
When a case is a non-emergency, the Emergency Medical Services Ambulance should not be used. Instead, during after-hours medical advice can be sought from an Emergency Department medical staff on duty. Use your own transport or call the 24 hours taxi services available.