When you think someone is badly hurt, suddenly sick and in danger, or when there is an emergency that threatens human life or property and demands immediate action.
When should you call 9-1-1 instead of driving to the emergency department? Ask yourself the following questions:
Is the victim's condition life threatening?
Could the victim's condition worsen and become life threatening?
Could moving the victim cause further injury?
Does the victim need the skills or equipment of paramedics or emergency medical technicians?
Would distance or traffic conditions cause a delay in getting the victim to the hospital?
If the answer to any of these questions is "yes" or if you are unsure, it's best to call 9-1-1
It is true that you can sometimes get to the hospital faster by driving than by calling the paramedics. But the paramedics can communicate with the physician in the emergency department by radio. They are trained to begin medical treatment on the way to the hospital.