In a life-or-death situation, an ambulance may be your fastest option for obtaining timely medical care. However, getting an ambulance to show up at your doorstep for a doctor’s appointment is never going to happen. Ambulances are not taxis, even though they offer gurney beds for patients who might need them.
There are times when an ambulance is appropriate–and other times you need non-emergency medical transportation. But what happens when you have a medical emergency and call 911? Find out how to deal with calling 911 and not getting an ambulance when you expect it.
How Long do Ambulances Take to Arrive
You should expect to wait for about eight minutes for an ambulance to arrive during a life-threatening emergency. This is the time it takes for most patients to succumb from a heart attack or other life-threatening emergency.
If you notice ambulances take longer than 10 minutes to get to the scene of a medical emergency, this is a slow response time. Consider other options for taking care of patients who are struggling to get emergency medical care in your area.
When to Call an Ambulance for an Emergency
If you are unsure of whether you have an emergency that constitutes a call to an ambulance, dial 911. The 911 operator is the primary route to get an ambulance to come to your location.
In most instances, only the 911 operator will be able to request an ambulance for your medical emergency. You can only receive emergency medical services when there is an actual timely medical emergency taking place.
What is Medical Emergency
When you have a medical emergency, it is your duty to take care of the suffering patient in your care. A medical emergency involves any of the following medical issues:
- Choking and unable to breathe
- Vomiting uncontrollably
- Bleeding excessively
- Fainting or being unconscious
- Having a mental breakdown
- Suffering from a stroke or brain aneurysm
- Going into cardiac arrest or having heart failure
If you are a caregiver and in charge of a patient who is suffering from a medical emergency, call 911 immediately. They will direct you on how to transport the patient for emergency medical services. This may involve waiting for an ambulance, which is the primary mode of transportation in a medical emergency in the US.
Can I Call an Ambulance in a Non-Emergency
No, you should not call for an ambulance in a non-emergency. This is because ambulances, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provide emergency services. If you are scheduling an appointment for a doctor’s visit and need a gurney-accessible van, an emergency ambulance ride is not possible.
Even if you were to be able to schedule a van pickup with 911, the cost of an ambulance is no less than $10,000 on most medical networks. This is extremely expensive and cost prohibitive for patients. That is why you need to have a non-emergency medical transportation service provider on call at all times if you work with medical patients.
Who to Call for Non-Emergency Medical Transportation in Puget Sound
Instead of calling an ambulance or dialing 911 for a non-emergency, rely on the services of a provider like Around the Sound in Puget Sound. A third-party service that specializes in medical care and transit to health-related programs and offices will save you time and money.
Plus, patients will have access to professional transportation that protects their health and wellness. This is a win-win for businesses like nursing homes where daily non-emergency medical transportation is a must.
Why Choose a Professional Medical Transportation Provider
At Around the Sound, we specialize in medical transportation services for Puget Sound patients and caregivers. Whether you are a nurse or working for a nursing home, or you have housebound patients as a hospice caretaker, you need medical transit services.
Around the Sound focuses on specialized equipment and vehicles outfitted to manage the health needs of patients in a variety of conditions. Learn more about what this means and more with these frequently asked questions
FAQs About Ambulance Transportation
How long should I wait for an ambulance?
Wait for no longer than 10 minutes when you are dealing with an emergency situation. Service providers should be there within eight minutes in optimal circumstances. The eight-minute window is the time when receiving medical services is the most critical for patient survival.
If you are waiting for an ambulance and it has not arrived after 10 minutes, call 911. Let them know you are still waiting for emergency transportation and the ambulance has not shown up.
There could always be an accident or other situation where the ambulance is unable to arrive on time. You also need to request an additional ambulance in this instance. Therefore, call 911 when you are waiting for a late ambulance to arrive in an emergency situation.
What should you do while waiting for an ambulance?
As you are waiting for the ambulance, if you are a caregiver, prepare all of the patient’s vitals and information. You will need to supply contact information for the patient. In addition, you will need to have details about the patient’s current condition and the event in which the emergency occurred.
When should you call the EMS?
If you have a patient who is unresponsive or suffering from a life-threatening condition, call the emergency medical system (EMS). This will provide you with an ambulance for transporting the patient to the appropriate medical treatment facility.
When to Call Around the Sound for Medical Transportation
If you are in need of scheduled, non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services, we are here to help. At Around the Sound, we provide medical transportation for non-emergencies. In addition, we can assist you with choosing the right type of transit for your needs.
Contact Around the Sound at 253-858-7088 for non-emergency medical transportation services. We provide a fleet of more than 80 stretcher/gurney vans and vehicles to accommodate patients. Ask about our latest discounts on services for new accounts!
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