On a regular basis, West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust initiates, or takes part in a number of campaigns designed to promote better healthcare and better use of ambulance and health services. The most recent campaigns are shown below.
This summer we are working in partnership with Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to educate children on how to make an emergency 999 call.
The emergency services are here to help, but sometimes 999 is rung by mistake and we want to help children to understand when it is the right time to ring 999, and what they should expect when doing so.
We’ve made a video aimed at four to seven-year-olds, which features Lookout Lion, who needs the help of the emergency services. Please watch this with your children to help them understand when they should ring 999 and how to do it. You can view it here:
After watching the video, talk to them about it and make sure they know:
- When is appropriate to call 999
- That in an emergency they need to dial 999
- How to make an emergency call from your particular mobile as this can differ depending on what device you have.
When making a 999 call they need to remember:
- To tell the call handler which emergency service they need
- To tell the call handler their address/or the location of the incident and phone number
- To stay calm and stay on the line as they might have some questions
- The call handler is there to help them and they shouldn’t be afraid
We have produced a printable factsheet that features advice on making a 999 call. It also has space to write your address and phone number. Please print this off, fill it in and put it somewhere visible, like on the fridge or by your home phone (if you have one). Your child will then have the information that they need.
Click here to download the factsheet.
Would you know what to do? West Midlands Ambulance Service, in association with the British Heart Foundation, is supporting HeartStart Schemes within our area.
On the course, you can learn vital lifesaving skills which could help to keep a person alive until professional help arrives.
A new ground-breaking medical trial involving five ambulance services, including West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS), is due to begin on researching the effectiveness of the use of adrenaline in cases of cardiac arrest. The trial, called PARAMEDIC2, will primarily be run in the Black Country, Birmingham, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
“If you get a flu jab, it could save someone’s life.” – Dr Alison Walker, the Trust’s Medical Director, is very clear on flu and is encouraging everyone to get protected this winter.
With an increase in cases of influenza and norovirus across the country, follow some simple advice from the NHS to get yourself well again.
For the majority of people, there’s not a lot the ambulance service can do to help you if you’ve got the flu or norovirus. If you’re otherwise fit and healthy, there is no need to visit your GP with flu like symptoms. If you think you’ve got norovirus you should try to avoid going to your GP, as it can spread to others very easily. Instead, call your GP or NHS 111 if you’re concerned or need any advice.
What is flu?
Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:
- a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
- aching body
- feeling tired or exhausted
- dry, chesty cough
- sore throat
- difficulty sleeping
- loss of appetite
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- nausea and being sick
The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.
What do I do if I get flu?
The best thing you can do is tuck yourself up in bed, rest, drink plenty of fluids, take paracetamol and remember, don’t take over the advised dosage.
Help ease a sore throat and cough with lozenges, mixtures or sprays too. If you are buying over the counter remedies, make sure you check with the pharmacist first to ensure they don’t affect medication you’re already taking.
You can find out more about flu via the NHS Choices Flu page
What is norovirus?
Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK. It’s also called the winter vomiting bug because it’s more common in winter, although you can catch it at any time of the year. You’re likely to have norovirus if you experience:
- suddenly feeling sick
- projectile vomiting
- watery diarrhoea
Some people also have a slight fever, headaches, painful stomach cramps and aching limbs. The symptoms appear one to two days after you become infected and typically last for up to 2 or 3 days.
What do I do if I get Norovirus?
Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up by itself in a few days. You can normally look after yourself or your child at home. You don’t usually need to get medical advice unless there’s a risk of a more serious problem.
Self-care is key so drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, take paracetamol for any fever, aches or pains and have plenty of rest.
Norovirus can spread very easily, so you should wash your hands regularly while you’re ill and stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared to reduce the risk of passing it on.
You can find out more about norovirus via the NHS Choices Norovirus page
CATCH IT – Always carry tissues and use them to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
BIN IT – Dispose of used tissues as soon as possible.
KILL IT – Clean your hands with soap and water as soon as you can and make sure you wash them frequently. If you have no washing facilities, make use of an alcohol gel.
Every year, approximately 152,000 people in the UK have a stroke. On average, West Midlands Ambulance Service receives a call every 20 minutes to a patient having a suspected stroke. Anyone can suffer a Stroke, with almost one third of Strokes happening to people under the age of 65. Stroke is the fourth largest killer in the UK, which is why it is so important to recognise the symptoms of Stroke FAST!
Would you know what to do if someone suffered a cardiac arrest? It is estimated that approximately 30,000 people each year have cardiac arrests outside of hospital, with almost 4,000 of those taking place in our Region. Currently only one in three of these people will receive CPR from a bystander, prior to the arrival of ambulance crews.
The 999 service is for life-threatening conditions and emergencies, such as choking, chest pain, stroke, serious blood loss or a state of unconsciousness. Using the ambulance service for its intended purpose (to tend to the critically ill and injured) increases the chance of a speedy response to those in genuine need, where you believe life is at risk.
There’s a fair chance that you’ll see a blue light vehicle most times that you are on our roads. Do you know what to do? Don’t panic when you see blue lights – it could save a life.