Should I drive or go to the hospital?

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Should I drive or go to the hospital?

In medical emergencies you are faced with the decision of driving or calling for an ambulance. This decision may well be one of life and death.  If you feel that you are too sick, hurt or concerned about your loved one to drive then please call 911 for an ambulance. The ambulance will by far be the safest way to get to the care you or your loved one needs.

But how do you know if it is a true emergency?

The American College of Emergency Physicians recommends you ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does the condition seem life threatening?
  2. Could it get worse if I drive to the hospital?
  3. If you move or try to move the person will it cause more harm?

An ambulance is more than just a fast ride to the hospital EMT’s or Paramedics can provide lifesaving or pain reliving care to you or your loved one. They can inform the hospital enroute to your condition so the hospital can provide the best care upon your arrival.

Non-emergency transports to the hospital may cause unnecessary delays to the system which in turn can affect the ambulances ability to quickly respond to a true emergency.

If you do call an ambulance:

  • Speak slowly, calmly and clearly.
  • Give the patient’s name, the address and phone number. If you’re on the road, note the street or highway you’re on and the direction you’re traveling.
  • Briefly describe what’s going on and when the problem started.
  • Don’t hang up until you’re sure the dispatcher has all the information she needs and that you’ve followed any instructions she’s given you.
  • Organize your medical information. List the names and contact info for your regular doctors, chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma, surgeries and hospitalizations, and medications. Keep copies at home, in your car and in your wallet.

Remember 911 is for emergencies. So please save 911 for the true emergencies.