Even after recognizing the warning signs of major health problems, many people still prefer to drive to the Emergency Room instead of calling 911. Unfortunately, this mistake can have a tragic outcome. Here at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, our Emergency Room team strongly urges patients to avoid delaying medical care when a true emergency strikes.
It may not be safe for you to drive.
Many people who wouldn’t dare get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol still try to drive when they are ill or injured. Yet, the consequences can be similar. Some medical emergencies can cause severe dizziness, numbness, muscle weakness, or loss of consciousness. A patient’s reaction time and judgment may be impaired. Plus, there’s always the possibility of vomiting while behind the wheel, which can cause the car to swerve dangerously. If you’re feeling ill enough to need emergency care, you probably shouldn’t try to drive yourself to the hospital.
The 911 dispatcher can provide first aid instructions.
Another compelling reason to call 911 instead of driving to the hospital is that the 911 dispatcher may give you some simple instructions to follow while you’re waiting for the ambulance. If you might be having a stroke, the dispatcher may instruct you to lie down to avoid getting injured. If you could be having a heart attack, you may be asked to take a baby aspirin.
The EMS team can initiate life-saving interventions.
As soon as the ambulance arrives, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team will assess your condition and administer certain life-saving interventions. These can help stabilize you while you’re on the way to the hospital. The paramedic might give you oxygen, start an IV line, or bandage lacerations. The EMS personnel will also contact the hospital to alert them to your impending arrival, which lets the physicians get ready to treat you promptly.
The Emergency Room at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center is always open to provide life-saving care to our patients. Our hospital has long been a leading provider of specialized heart care, trauma care, and dedicated pediatric emergency care. A registered nurse in Thousand Oaks is available at (877) 888-5746 to answer general, non-emergent questions.