Should You Drive Someone to the Hospital, or Wait for An Ambulance?

If someone needs to get to a hospital, is it better to drive them yourself, or wait for an ambulance?  A recent study looked into it, and it depends on the emergency . . .

If it’s something like a heart attack, then waiting for an ambulance is probably better because you can give them CPR while you wait.  And they’ll get CPR on the way.

It also makes sense with something like a neck injury, because you don’t want to move them.  Keep them still and wait for paramedics so you don’t make things worse.

But the study did find two types of injures where it doesn’t make sense to wait.  If someone’s been STABBED or SHOT, you should drive them to the hospital yourself.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that gunshot victims are 55% more likely to survive if someone drives them to the hospital instead of waiting for an ambulance.  And stabbing victims are 68% more likely to survive.

They think it’s because EMTs can’t do much to treat “penetrating” injuries like that.  You just need to get to a hospital.  And you’ll usually get there faster if someone drives you.

Obviously most of us will never have to deal with an injury like that.  But the same thing could also apply to any sort of accident where there’s a major “penetrating” injury.  If moving the person won’t put them at risk, then driving them might be the way to go.

(Arts Technica)

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