What is a medical emergency?

Video – What is a medical emergency
Find out when you should TXT 111 for medical help.

What is a medical emergency?

Medical emergencies when you should text 111 are when:

  • Someone has difficulty breathing.
  • Someone has chest pain. This can feel like a ‘weight’ or a ‘squeezing feeling’ in your chest.
  • Someone fainting or being unconscious.
  • Someone may have had a stroke. They may have suddenly gone weak, their vision has changed, they are dizzy or have difficulty talking.
  • Someone has severe pain anywhere.
  • Someone has bleeding that won’t stop.
  • There’s been a car crash and people are injured.

Examples of medical non-emergencies are:

  • Generally being unwell - unless you have some of the symptoms listed above.
  • Minor injuries like sprains or small cuts – provided they’re not bleeding uncontrollably.
  • Minor burns – burns that are smaller than twice the size of your hand.
  • Coughs or colds.
  • If you need to report something that's not a medical emergency, you should see your doctor.