If you have a medical emergency, a critical or life threatening problem call 999.
Here are some examples of an emergency:
- Difficulty in breathing
- A suspected stroke (see further information below)
- A suspected heart attack (see further information below)
- Heavy blood loss
- Serious injury
- Severe burns
(If you are deaf or speech-impaired you can still access 999 services from a mobile phone by sending an SMS text message to 999. Your phone will need to be registered with the emergencySMS service. You can find out more from the emergency SMS website.)
If you are feeling unwell, but the problem is not a medical emergency please call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.
Suspect a heart attack? Know the symptoms
Common, or typical symptoms include:
- Central chest pain
- The pain can spread to the arms, neck or jaw
- Feeling sick or sweaty as well as having central chest pain
- Feeling short of breath as well as having central chest pain
Symptoms vary and some people may feel any of the following:
- A dull pain, ache, or 'heavy' feeling in the chest
- A mild discomfort in the chest that makes you feel generally unwell
- The pain in the chest can spread to the back or stomach
- A chest pain that feels like a bad episode of indigestion
- Feeling a bit light-headed or dizzy as well as having chest pain
If you, or anyone around you, experience any of these symptoms, don't ignore them. Call 999 immediately. The longer you wait for medical assistance, the lower your chance of survival.
Further information and resources are available from the British Heart Foundation.
Suspect a stroke? Act FAST
Facial weakness – can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye dropped?
Arm weakness – can the person raise both arms?
Speech problems – can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
Time to call 999 – stroke is a medical emergency.
If the person has failed any one of these tests, you must call 999. Stroke is a medical emergency and by calling 999 you can help someone reach hospital quickly and receive the early treatment they need. Prompt action can prevent further damage to the brain and help someone make a full recovery. Delay can result in death or major long-term disabilities, such as paralysis, severe memory loss and communication problems.
Further information and resources are available from Stroke Act FAST.
If you are unwell and unsure what to do - Choose Well
Choose Well will help you decide if you need medical attention if you get sick. It explains what each NHS service does, and when it should be used.
Choosing Well means that you and your family will get the best treatment. It also allows busy NHS services to help the people who need them most.
If you don’t know which option to choose, please contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47