6:00pm Friday 23rd August 2013
THE WELSH ambulance service is warning that reckless or irresponsible use of 999 could have fatal consequences, as the number of calls continues to rise.
The service took 1,428 non-essential or hoax calls in the last 12 months, while urgent callers waited in line.
It includes a man who dialled 999 because he had the hiccups and another Newport man who claimed he had drunk too much wine and was hungover.
One person called 999 claiming they had heartburn after a chilli con carne, but it turned out to be a hoax call.
Paul Hughes, Medical Director at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “Calls of this type put people's lives at risk as it may result in a delay to the emergency services answering genuine calls for help.
"During peak periods, like the summer, every hoax call has the potential to delay a response to a serious emergency.
“We ask the public to only dial 999 and attend emergency departments for life-threatening and serious illnesses and injuries - remember to keep emergency ambulances for your emergencies.”
"Here are some of the calls which have clogged up the system since last August.”
Treatment for minor injuries, such as cuts, bites, stings and muscle and joint injuries, can be provided at your local Minor Injuries Unit, where there is no need for an appointment.
You should only call 999 in a life-threatening emergency, if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
For advice and treatment of most illnesses, visit your GP, or call the NHS Direct Wales 24/7 on 0845 46 47 for confidential health advice and information.
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