Cat scratch, sore throat and bitten tongue among East Lancs 999 call outs (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Cat scratch, sore throat and bitten tongue among East Lancs 999 call outs
12:30pm Tuesday 19th March 2013 in News
A CAT scratch, a sore throat and an accidentally bitten tongue were among the ailments reported to the ambulance service this weekend.
The North West Ambulance Service received 4.5 per cent more calls over the St Patrick’s Day weekend this year compared to last year and bosses urged people to be more considerate when dialling 999.
Head of the service Peter Mulcahy said the trust received more than a million emergency calls throughout the region every year and more were being referred to the Urgent Care Desk or NHS Direct.
Mr Peter Mulcahy said: “The 999 number should be reserved for serious or life-threatening incidents only and patients should consider other healthcare pathways if they feel unwell or have a very minor injury. This weekend in Blackburn we dealt with 999 calls for someone who had been scratched by a cat, someone with a sore throat, a case of conjunctivitis and an incident where someone had bitten their tongue while eating.
“All of these calls were referred to NHS Direct and an emergency ambulance was not sent.
“All of the cases highlighted could be safely treated at home or following advice from a pharmacist and we would urge people to consider those options before dialling 999.”
The Urgent Care Desk is manned by specialist paramedics who can speak to callers once it is established that the 999 call is not a serious life-threatening incident.
They then determine which is the best and most appropriate level of care required.
This may mean a visit from an ambulance crew to assess and treat or a referral to the patient’s GP or other local healthcare service.
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