In Case of an Emergency

An emergency is a health crisis that needs immediate attention. Examples of emergencies are:

  • Unconsiousness
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Trouble speaking
  • Chest pain lasting two minutes or more
  • Trouble breathing
  • Changes in vision
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings
  • Sudden or severe pain
  • Confusion or other change in mental state

Instead of driving to the emergency department, call 911 when:

  • The person's condition seems life threatening or could get worse on the way to the hospital.
  • Moving the person might cause further injury.
  • You can't get to the emergency department quickly.

When you call 911:

  • Do your best to speak clearly and calmly.
  • Be ready to provide information, including your location and the nature of the problem.
  • If you've been in a car crash, look for street names or highway markers so paramedics can find you quickly. Stay on the line until the dispatcher says it's okay to hang up. More information may be needed.

Seek Services Immediately

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted in any way, go to the emergency room as soon as possible. The sooner you go, the more health care options may be available to you. They may offer to perform an evidence collection kit or to give you treatment to prevent pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections.

You have the right to accept or decline any part of the exam, evidence collection, or treatments.

If possible, avoid doing the following*:

  • Cleaning up the crime scene
  • Bathing or showering
  • Changing clothes**
  • Using the restroom
  • Moving anything the offender may have touched
  • Combing hair

*If you have done any or all of these things, you should still go to an emergency department as soon as possible, as some physical evidence may be still present and you may need other treatment.

**If you have changed your clothes, bring them with you in a ziplock or paper bag.

Test your knowledge on how to handle different disaster situations.


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