Abstract During medical emergencies, the ability to communicate the state and position of injured individuals is essential. In critical situations or crowd aggregations, this may result difficult or even impossible due to the inaccuracy of verbal communication, the lack of precise localization for the medical events, and/or the failure/congestion of infrastructure-based communication networks. In such a scenario, a temporary (ad hoc) wireless network for disseminating medical alarms to the closest hospital, or medical field personnel, can be usefully employed to overcome the mentioned limitations. This is particularly true if the ad hoc network relies on the mobile phones that people normally carry, since they are automatically distributed where the communication needs are. Nevertheless, the feasibility and possible implications of such a network for medical alarm dissemination need to be analysed. To this aim, this paper presents a study on the feasibility of medical alarm dissemination through mobile phones in an urban environment, based on realistic people mobility. The results showed the dependence between the medical alarm delivery rates and both people and hospitals density. With reference to the considered urban scenario, the time needed to delivery medical alarms to the neighbour hospital with high reliability is in the order of minutes, thus revealing the practicability of the reported network for medical alarm dissemination.