Do not use PATCHS for medical emergencies

Dr Ben Brown
Dr Ben Brown
  • Updated

Do not use PATCHS for medical emergencies

You should instead call 999 or go to your nearest A&E

You should not use PATCHS for medical emergencies because your GP practice may not be able to respond quickly enough to help you.

Below are some examples of medical emergency situations in which you should not use PATCHS. This list is not exhaustive and other types of medical emergency exist. 

  • Signs of a heart attack: pain like a very tight band, heavy weight or squeezing in the centre of your chest
  • Signs of a stroke: face drooping on one side, cannot hold both arms up, difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty breathing: including choking, gasping or sudden swelling of the mouth, tongue or throat
  • Fits or seizures that are not stopping: shaking or jerking
  • Serious accidents or severe injuries
  • Loss of consciousness: black outs and cannot be woken up
  • Acute confusion: that has happened suddenly
  • Severe chest pain
  • Bleeding that cannot be stopped: spraying, pouring or enough to make a puddle
  • Severe allergic reactions: including swelling and difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • Severe burns or scalds
  • Sudden-onset severe headaches: 'thunderclap' headaches or the 'worst headache of your life'
  • Swelling of a leg or arm, or chest pain, if you have COVID-19
  • If you are planning to, or have just tried to end your life: by taking something or harming yourself

Deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired people can use 18000 to contact 999.

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