What to do in a Medical Emergency

Medical emergencies often occur when we least expect them.  When an injury or illness occurs, it’s not always easy to know when to visit an emergency room.  Deciding how serious it is and when to get prompt medical attention, will help you know when to call your doctor, visit an urgent care clinic, or go to the emergency department.

In the event of a medical emergency outside of clinic hours, students may directly attend the Urgent Care Clinic at the Winston Scott Polyclinic, the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for critical conditions or an emergency health care clinic or physician of their choice. 

Remember, the payment for services rendered may be expected at the point of service delivery outside of public health care facilities.  If you are not a local or resident services can be charged to your Student Health Insurance plan as this would be expected at the point of service delivery. 

Please note, all cost for health care services provided will be met by the student, his/her parents, guardian or sponsor.  Under no circumstance will the College undertake to provide or meet the cost of health care services obtained other than at the Student Health Clinic.


When to go to the Emergency Room (ER or A&E)

Call 511 to have emergency ambulance services and pre-hospital care delivered to you right away for things such as:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Choking
  • Head injury, along with fainting, passing-out, or confusion
  • Neck or spine injury, especially with loss of feeling or movement
  • Electric shock
  • Lightning strike
  • Severe chest pain or pressure
  • Severe burn
  • Seizure lasting three to five minutes
  • Stroke

Deciding how quickly you or a loved one needs medical care is one of the most important decisions you can make.


Visit an Emergency Room for these conditions:

You should go to the nearest ER or call 511 for problems including:

  • Throwing-up blood or severe coughing
  • Deep wound
  • Dizziness or weakness that does not go away
  • Very high fever, along with a headache and a stiff neck
  • High fever that does not improve with medicine
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Inhalation of poisonous fumes
  • Pain in the arm or jaw
  • Fainting or passing out
  • Trouble breathing
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Seizures
  • Severe burns
  • Poisoning or drug/alcohol overdose
  • Possibility of a broken bone or loss of movement, especially, if bone is pushing through the skin
  • Severe pain anywhere on the body
  • Sudden loss of speech, sight, movement
  • Throwing-up or a loose stool that does not go away
  • Severe allergic reaction, along with swelling, hives and trouble breathing
  • Sudden drooping or weakness on one side

Note: Visiting an ER can cost two to three times more than visiting a doctor’s office, so it’s important to know the signs of an emergency that requires a trip to a hospital ER or urgent care clinic.

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