During medical emergencies, a lot of people use private vehicles to transport the casualties rather than waiting for an ambulance. In most cases, this is not the best line of action because there is a high chance that you will be doing more harm than good to the casualty. Ambulances are designed with a lot of medical equipment, personnel, and safety measures that are paramount in attending to a patient. Ambulance crews are usually trained in providing medical care to patients and they can diagnose and offer timely medical assistance to the casualty.
On the other hand, private cars are usually not equipped with such medical equipment, and a private car driver is not trained to provide medical assistance. This means that the casualty may be at risk of getting more injured, or their condition may deteriorate further as opposed to getting better.
Even if you’re a trained first aider, it is still not advisable to move the patient using a private vehicle, no matter how severe the injury is or how eager we are to help out. Waiting for an ambulance or calling emergency services is the better option in this case, as they are better equipped to handle such situations.
Here are a few reasons why moving casualties with a private vehicle isn’t a good option.
- Limited space — Private vehicles do not usually have the same amount of space that an ambulance can offer, so there is not enough room for the patient and the equipment needed to help them.
- Safety — Ambulances are designed to provide the highest possible level of safety for the patient. This means that the vehicle is fitted with a stretcher, oxygen masks, and other specialized equipment that is designed to minimize the risk of further injury or deterioration of the patient’s condition. On the contrary, private cars usually do not have these features, meaning that care can be restricted or sometimes not rendered at all while transporting a patient. We have often heard cases of people passing away en route to the hospital with a car, while they would have had a better chance to survive if they had taken an ambulance.
- Trained personnel — Ambulance crews are trained in dealing with emergencies and are familiar with the analysis and treatment of a range of life-threatening conditions. They are also capable of offering basic medical advice to a patient and can take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the patient. Private car drivers, on the other hand, may be unaware of basic medical protocols that are necessary to ensure the safety of the patient. They are not trained to attend to medical emergencies. This means that they won’t be able to provide the medical assistance a patient might require during the journey. This could put the patient at risk of further injury or deterioration of their condition.
- Training — Ambulance personnels are specially trained to provide medical assistance during emergency situations. The advice and help they can provide to the patient cannot be replicated by a layperson. Most times, we don’t know enough about handling medical emergencies. Take a road accident victim as an example, as a bystander, you may not know what the condition of the casualty is, like if he/she might have sustained a spine injury during the accident. If such a person is moved with the wrong technique, there are chances that we would do more harm to such a casualty.
- Speed — Privileges are given to ambulances on the road especially when there’s a traffic jam that can be maneuvered. Every minute matters while saving a life. Imagine getting stuck in road traffic while transporting an emergency casualty in a private car with no ongoing management. Always call an ambulance, it’s a better option.
- Access to health facilities — Ambulances have direct access to healthcare facilities, which is not the case with a private vehicle. This ensures that the patient is taken to the right medical facility/department as quickly as possible. A lack of knowledge of the appropriate health facility to move the casualties to is also a reason to move with an ambulance. The paramedics in the ambulance must have assessed the type and severity of the patient’s case and would know departments/facilities that can handle such patients effectively. The Golden hour of the patient will end up being wasted if the patient isn’t taken to the appropriate facility in time.
In conclusion, an ambulance is the best line of action for medical emergencies. It is always better to wait for an ambulance or call emergency services if there is a medical emergency rather than transporting the casualty with a private vehicle. This ensures that a patient is given the best chance of survival.
After all has been said and done, when a real emergency happens it should be our primary instinct to take the casualty to the hospital as quickly as we can. However, we need to act more organized because every minute matters during emergencies, there’s no room for impulsive actions.