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  • Writer's pictureSaving Grace Medical Academy Ltd

Should you drive an ill or injured person to the hospital?

Emergency happen, should you drive an injured person to the hospital?

An ambulance driving to a hospital with lights and sirens.
Ambulance going to a hospital

Stay & Play vs Load & Go: Making Safe Decisions in an Emergency

When someone is injured or ill, deciding whether to wait for an ambulance or drive them to the hospital can be stressful. It's important to make the right choice to keep everyone safe. Here’s a simple way to think about it. Remember that its not like the movies, and that a calm level head can make all the difference.

Driving a pregnant woman in active labor to a hispital.
Driving a pregnant woman in labor to a hospital.

Stay & Play: Wait for an Ambulance

When to Wait:

  • If the person’s condition is life-threatening or involves a spine injury, do not drive them to the hospital.

  • Moving someone with serious injuries can make things worse.

  • Call 911 and follow the dispatcher’s instructions. They will guide you on the best way to get medical help.

Load & Go: Take Them to a Hospital

When to Drive:

  • If the person has a non-life-threatening injury or illness, it might be safe to drive them to the hospital.

Steps to Follow:

  1. 911 on Speaker Phone:

  • Call 911 and put your phone on speaker. This way, everyone can hear the dispatcher’s instructions.

  • The dispatcher can inform the hospital that you are on your way.

  1. Take a Partner:

  • Have a calm person drive the car.

  • You should continue to care for the injured person while someone else focuses on driving.

  • Emergencies can change quickly, and having a partner helps manage the situation better.

  1. Follow Traffic Rules:

  • Do not speed or break traffic rules. Your car is not an emergency vehicle and doesn't have lights or sirens.

  • Driving safely ensures you and the injured person get to the hospital without additional accidents.


Horrible Bosses actor Jason Bateman running a red light in the film.
Speeding and running a red light is not safe driving.

It may seem that your injured or ill passenger needs to get to the hospital quickly, but slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Getting there safely is the key to a successful recovery for both you and your patient. Can you get a ticket? Absolutely! Furthermore, if an officer attempts to pull you over, please do so, many officers will understand and potentially escort you to the hospital. "You may receive a fine after that".

Remember, making the right decision in an emergency can save lives. Stay calm, follow these steps, and prioritize safety above all.

“This material is for information purposes only and is taken from The Canadian Red Cross / Alberta Heart & Stroke Foundation & Alberta Health Services. This information should not be used in place of medical, Technical advice, instructor, and/or treatment. If you have questions, speak to your local Physician or Safety Training Facility.”

Just Remember:

Protect Yourself!!! Call 911!!! Don't Waste Time!!!

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