Do not use Patchs for medical emergencies
You should instead call 999 or go to your nearest A&E (accident and emergency)
British Sign Language (BSL) speakers can make a BSL video call to 999.
Deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired people can use 18000 to contact 999.
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. 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 to end your life, or you have just tried to end your life: by taking something or harming yourself
- Seizure (fit): shaking or jerking because of a fit, or unconscious (cannot be woken up)
- Choking: on liquids or solids now
- Difficulty breathing: making grunting noises or sucking their stomach in under their ribcage
- Unable to stay awake: cannot keep their eyes open for more than a few seconds
- Blue, grey, pale or blotchy skin, tongue or lips: on brown or black skin, grey or blue palms or soles of the feet
- Limp and floppy: their head falls to the side, backwards or forwards
- Heavy bleeding: spraying, pouring or enough to make a puddle
- Severe injuries: after a serious accident or assault
- Signs of a stroke: face dropping on one side, cannot hold both arms up, difficulty speaking
- Sudden rapid swelling: of the lips, mouth, throat or tongue
- Sudden confusion: agitation, odd behaviour or non-stop crying