Depending on the symptoms that the caller gives, each call is put as a 'chief complaint'. For example, if you say 'my daughter's fallen out of a tree', that would go under number 30: Traumatic Injuries.
The 'public' chief complaints go from number 1 to 32.
1. Abdominal pain 2. Allergies/Envenomations 3. Animal bites/attacks 4. Assault/Sexual Assault 5. Back pain 6. Breathing problems 7. Burns, Scalds and Explosions 8. Carbon Monoxide/Hazchem (Hazardous Chemicals) 9. Cardiac or Respiratory Arrest/Death 10. Chest Pain 11. Choking 12. Convulsions/Fitting 13. Diabetic Problems 14. Drowning/Diving/SCUBA accident 15. Electrocution/Lightning 16. Eye Problems 17. Falls 18. Headache 19. Heart Problems/AICD (internal defibrillators) 20.Heat/Cold Exposure 21. Haemorrhage/Laceration 22. Inaccessible/Other Entrapment 23. Overdose/Poisoning/Ingestion 24. Pregnancy/Childbirth/Miscarriage 25. Psychiatric/Suicide attempt 26. Sick person 27. Stabbing/Gunshot/Penetrating Trauma 28. Stroke (CVA) 29. Traffic & Transportation Accidents 30. Traumatic Injuries 31. Unconscious/Fainting 32. Unknown Problem (3rd party) This is mainly used when a careline calls us because a client of theirs has pressed their emergency button but not made verbal contact. We also use it when a caller isn't actually with the patient, for example if they drive past a person who is lying face down. We don't know whether it should be 31 (unconscious), 23 (overdose), 17 (falls), 12 (convulsions) or 9 (cardiac/respiratory arrest)
I have been working for the ambulance service for nearly six months now, and have used every single chief complaint at least once. Some complaints are more common than others: breathing problems and chest pain being among them. But ask any EMD and they will tell you without fail that the most common chief complaint is 17 - FALLS!!!