When to use 911

  1. A hospice pt of mine called the on-call service for aid getting up out of his chair. When I arrived, it was quite obvious he had a Fx ankle ( very displaced) and a very swollen other ankle. He was a large man, could not get in touch with his family, so I called 911. Mainly I needed transport. Was it wrong to use this service for that purpose?? In the past I have called private transport but I knew they had a staff of women and would not be able to get this person down three flights of stairs. Help!!!
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   l.rae
    Well, l work ER, we have several crews of all female medics frequent our ER. They are kick-a$$....these women are trained for these situations. But, l don't necessasarily think you did wrong.
  4. by   RNonsense
    Couldn't you have called the non-emergency number and explained the situation?
  5. by   flashpoint
    As a paramedic, I would have no problem with you calling 911...that is what we we are there for. With an obviously displaced joint and the pain that goes with it, I think you did the right thing! Here the 911 crews have a lot more help and a lot more men with muscles than the private service!
  6. by   caroladybelle
    A fx in a large hospice pt may require surgery or at least closed reduction. Not being able to get around would seriously impair QOL - therefore, the pt would need acute care, for possible Xrays, and stabilization of the fracture - 911 would be the acceptable call to make.
  7. by   RNonsense
    Maybe in Canada it's different...911 here gets you an ambulance, fire, police together...

    Non-emerg ambulance number gets you whatever you need.
  8. by   flashpoint
    911 here sends ambulance, fire, and police too, but that is our job...it's what we do. We have a private service that does transports and intercepts with 911 if needed, but it's EXPENSIVE to use the private guys. The only time I call for an intercept with the private service is when we need extra medics. I would much rather have people call 911 and not really need to (unless it is grossly obvious that 911 was not needed) than NOT call 911 and wish they had.
  9. by   kaycee
    I think 911 was appropriate. More so that a lot of things I see that number used for in the ER.
  10. by   Shamrock
    It's what I would have done. (call 911)
  11. by   RNonsense
    Originally posted by cotjockey
    911 here sends ambulance, fire, and police too, but that is our job...it's what we do. We have a private service that does transports and intercepts with 911 if needed, but it's EXPENSIVE to use the private guys.
    OK...ours isn't private. It's all under BC ambulance service and the call goes straight thru to them rather than the 911 e-comm center. Our guidelines state this...

    911 is the telephone number to use when police, fire or emergency medical assistance is needed in an emergency situation.

    Dial 911 for:

    crimes in progress
    life threatening situations
    fires
    motor vehicle accidents or major traffic and street obstructions
    injuries requiring emergency medical attention
    hazardous chemical spills
    fire, smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarms that are sounding
    sparking electrical hazards
    smoke in a building
    or any other emergency

    I'll be quiet now. Didn't realize guidelines weren't the same everywhere...
    (and my hubby is a dispatcher!)
  12. by   inodou
    I am a 911 dispatcher, I think calling 911 was the right thing to do. Here where I work calling 911 or the non emergency numbers both ring into the same place, so it doesn't really matter which number you call you get the same results.
  13. by   traumaRUs
    You did good. I'm an ER nurse and volunteer EMS.
  14. by   petiteflower
    I agree ---I volunteer EMS also--and I have hauled and seen ALOT of patients in ER who have called for much less.

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