Some health conditions are emergencies, but ones that can wait an hour or two while you ride to the hospital in someone's car. Other health conditions are another level of emergency altogether — they warrant calling an ambulance for the fastest and best service. Here are four situations in which you should absolutely call an ambulance rather than taking your chances with other transportation methods.
Chest pain can be a sign of a heart attack or a blood clot in the lungs. Both of these conditions require immediate medical attention. If you call an ambulance, the emergency medical providers can get some medications into your system ASAP so you don't have to even wait to arrive at the emergency room for basic treatment.
If someone nearby has been knocked unconscious or has fallen unconscious for any reason, call an ambulance. A loss of consciousness after hitting one's head can signify a concussion, and serious concussions that cause bleeding on the brain require care ASAP. If you do not know why a person has passed out, it could be due to a heart attack or a stroke, which also require immediate medical care. The person may just have fainted due to anxiety or the like, but it's best to let emergency medical personnel make that determination.
If you cut yourself deeply and applying pressure to the wound does not completely stop the bleeding within a minute or two, don't risk it — call an ambulance. Blood loss can cause you to lose consciousness, and you don't want that to happen en route to the hospital. An ambulance will ensure you get to the hospital faster. Plus, they can more properly dress the wound and give you blood via IV to treat the problem before you even arrive at the ER.
Burning your thumb on a hot pan is one thing. Burning more than a couple of square inches of your body, or burning yourself to the point that the skin turns white or black, is another. Serious burns can lead to shock, which requires prompt and professional medical care, so you should always call an ambulance.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what types of injuries and ailments warrant a call to emergency medical services. When in doubt, make the call. You're better off safe than sorry when it comes to your health.