French Health Emergencies Numbers and Key Phrases

Private French Lessons on how to Deal with Health Emergencies in ParisYou plan the perfect vacation to Paris and then on the second afternoon you twist your ankle getting off the bus. Or you’ve just relocated to Paris, barely know a soul, and your child wakes up with a high fever. What do you do?

Don’t panic. Just make sure you know where to find a list of French emergency telephone numbers and French medical and emergency phrases and words.

To get you on your way, here’s a list of both. Feel free to print it and keep it somewhere handy.

SOS médecins: 3624
By calling SOS médecins, you can arrange for a doctor come to your hotel room or home for a consultation. That’s right – in France, the doctors still make house calls! The person who answers the phone will ask for your contact information and symptoms. Your call may be then passed to the nurse or doctor who will decide if you need an ambulance. A doctor will arrive within the hour, usually less.

SOS dentist: 01 43 37 51 00
You can call this number for help finding a dentist in your area, particularly one who is available for weekend emergencies.

Medical help/SAMU: 15
The Emergency Medical Assistance Service or Service d’Aide Médicale d’Urgence will quickly connect you with a doctor. This is the number to call for an ambulance, a mobile resuscitation, an intensive care vehicle, or medical helicopter.

Fire and accidents/Pompiers: 18

Firefighters work closely with the SAMU and often provide rapid emergency first aid in France. This is the number to call if there’s a fire and also if you are in a car accident or have a physical injury. They can also provide you with an ambulance to a hospital.

Police: 17
You should call the police to report a crime, which requires the immediate intervention, such as an attack, mugging, or burglary. Loss of belongings from pickpockets or other forms of theft should be reported at the nearest police station – if nothing else, it’s important for insurance purposes.

European SOS from a mobile phone: 112
European SOS provides 24 hour medical and security assistance in English. It can be called from anywhere in Europe from your cell phone.

Pharmacy: 32 37
Most pharmacies are open Monday to Saturday from 08:30am to 7:30pm, but many are close between 12:00pm and 2:00pm. This is the number to call to find a pharmacy in your arrondissement open on Sundays or 24 hours a day.

Here are emergency/medical vocabulary and phrases:

Je m’appelle = My name is ….

J’ai eu un accident = I had an accident

Je besoin d’un médecin = I need a doctor

Je besoin d’une ambulance = I need an ambulance

Je ne peux pas respirer = I can’t breathe

Mon bébé/enfant a de la fièvre = My baby/child has a fever 

Mon bébé est s’étouffe = My baby is choking

Aidez moi = help me

Au secours = Help!

J’ai mal a la tête = I have a headache

J’ail mal au ventre = stomach ache


Très malade = very sick

Crise cardiaque = heart attack

Une fièvre = fever

Un mal de gorge = sore throat

Une infection = infection

Une infection de l’oreille/otite moyenne = ear infection

Une toux = cough

Vomir = to vomit

Une éruption inflammatoire = rash

Un accident = an accident

Blessé(e) = injured

Perdre connaissance = unconscious

Hémorragie = bleeding


Feu = fire

Cambrioleur/Intrus = burglar/intruder

Une urgence = emergency

Je suis en train de me faire cambrioler = I am being burgled.

Someone is in the house = Quelqu’un est chez moi.