How is the level of urgency determined?

The emergency medical dispatch centre (MKA), determines the status of the patient based on questioning the caller. The emergency medical dispatcher uses a set protocol of questions. Each status category is in accordance with a nationwide, uniformly determined ranking of urgency.

The three different levels of urgency are:


Potentially life-threatening situations where there is a high risk of serious subsequent damage and/or permanent disability.

A1 urgency is granted if at least one of these criteria apply:

  • The patient’s state is life-threatening, ABC * unstable.
  • There is a serious possibility of a life-threatening condition, ABC * unstable.
  • It is necessary to prevent the patient from entering into a life-threatening condition, ABC * unstable.
  • In order to prevent permanent disability or serious damage to health.

* ABC: (A) Airway, (B), Breathing, (C) Circulation


If there is a high probability of subsequent damage and/or hospital treatment is necessary without there being a life-threatening situation.


For transfers, transport for medical examinations or outpatient treatments (radiation therapy). These are generally planned journeys that do not meet the urgency criteria above.

It may be that when the ambulance crew reaches the patient they assess the situation differently than could be determined on the basis of the report. The nurse-paramedic, in consultation with the dispatch centre, can then adjust the level of urgency.

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