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French terms and phrases for a medical emergency

French words for medical emergencies

If you should need a doctor, hospital or ambulance in France, these useful words and phrases might help you.

If you need to call an ambulance try to make sure you can give location details and an update of the situation as best you can.

Calling an ambulance in France

15 – The national emergency number for medical aid in France. It will get you the SAMU service, with an ambulance (Service d’Aide Médical d’Urgence – Medical Emergency Aid Service).

18 – The general emergency number (like 999 in the UK or 911 US) which will get you connected to the most appropriate service.

112 – This is the standard European emergency number,   you can call this number from anywhere in the European Union countries from your mobile, landline or payphone.  112 Emergency centres can use an interpretation service covering several languages.  The European Commission website advises that if you are unable to tell the 112 operator where you are they  will be able to locate you – within a few seconds for fixed calls and up to 30 minutes outside working hours for mobile calls so to help you to advise your location please see our useful words and phrases section.

Useful French vocabulary – words and terms for a medical  emergency

Emergency Une urgence
Help me Aidez moi
Help Au secours
My location is Ma localité est
Child Enfant
Elderly person Personne âgée
Baby Bébé
Accident Un accident
I have had an accident J’ai eu un accident
Doctor Un médecin
Where can I find a doctor’s surgery? Où est-ce qu’on peut trouver un cabinet médical ?
Need a doctor Besoin un médécin
Need an ambulance Besoin une ambulance
Prescription Ordonnance
Medicine Médicament(s)
Heart attack Crise cardiaque
Unconscious Perdre connaissance
Very sick Très malade
Chemists Une pharmacie
Ill, sick Malade
I am in labour Je suis en train d’accoucher
I’m very sore here / it hurts here J’ai très mal ici
Injured Blessé(e)
Bleeding Hémorragie



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