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Should I Call An Ambulance… Or a Taxi Instead?
An ambulance ride is expensive. A patient is essentially requesting for a mobile medical van, equipped with trained medical personnel and battery powered portable medical equipment. If you could need the medics and equipment, then it’s better to have an ambulance escort you to the hospital.
Examples of situations where you should pick ambulance over taxi:
- You could turn unconscious later – due to head injury, or if you feel sleepy
- Breathing issues – you think you breathe normally now, but you know something’s wrong in your lungs or throat.
- You are alone – when your condition worsens and you can’t call on your phone or shout, it’s going to be bad. When someone eventually discovers you, it could be hours or days later.
Will an Ambulance Take Me… To My Preferred/Specific Hospital?
Ambulances usually send to the patient to the nearest hospital in an emergency. But what if: my medical records, doctor-specialist is someplace else or the hospital is very far from your house and you prefer to be warded nearer?
“But I want to go to THAT hospital!!!”
Emergency ambulances and public-run emergency services do not send patients to their preferred hospital or a specific hospital of their choosing. They are deployed in a district and have a set radius in which calls within that area will activate these vehicles. Travelling further will reduce their incident response time.
Will an Ambulance Take Me… For Social Activities or Personal Outing?
Non-emergency situations such as planned outings are not worthy of activating an ambulance. Such scheduled events and are not life threatening, so ambulances will not take you to such places and for those purposes. But if you think it is unsafe for the patient to go outside by car or taxi since there is no medical personnel and if something happens, then it is better to hire a private nurse or medical team.
Should I Call An Ambulance… For a Nosebleed?
Most people aren’t sure if a nosebleed is serious enough to activate emergency services. Since the bleed is from within the head, nosebleeds could be internal bleeding from the brain. Most of the time, nosebleeds are treated by pinching the nose and breathing through the mouth for 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t tilt your head backwards. If the blood stops leaking after letting go your nose in 15 minutes, continue monitoring for the next hour. Blood should clot and bleeding stop – if it does not then go to a clinic (not hospital). Unless there are signs of disorientation, breathlessness, pain in the head or chest, an ambulance call and a visit to the emergency room are typically not necessary.
Should I Call An Ambulance… Or Drive Myself to the Hospital?
Since you feel well enough to drive, you may want to drive to the hospital yourself. It is not okay to drive alone if you are facing any of these situations because they impair your motor skills and could cause a traffic incident:
- Head injury, dizziness, confusion, disorientation
- Reduced mobility to any of the limbs limbs
- Vision problems
Otherwise driving to the hospital should be fine. But you still need to find parking space and pay for parking. Plus, if you are warded, then the parking meter bill will not be cheap.
Should I Call An Ambulance… For Chest Pain?
Your chest is a little tight and on a scale of 1 to 10, the pain is rated around 5 to 6. Do you need an ambulance? Generally, yes get an ambulance for chest pain as the ribcage area protects the lungs and heart, where chest pain signifies an issue to your body’s 2 most critical vital organs. It is best not to make your way to the hospital on your own. Get an ambulance. In this way, should you suddenly have a heart attack or stop breathing, a medical professional can treat you on the spot. At least you have a better chance of survival.
Should I Call An Ambulance… 911 Anywhere in the World?
Is the ambulance number 911 everywhere in the world?
911 is the emergency number in the United States. However, it is not the same number to call the ambulance worldwide. Some countries use 999, 995. Other common emergency numbers are 119 and 110. However, in an emergency, it is okay to call 911 even if that is not the officially supported ambulance hotline in the country because most countries will redirect calls from 911 to the correct number. So your call will still reach the ambulance operator and an ambulance will still be dispatched as per usual practice.
Should I Call An Ambulance… For a Drunk Person?
Drinking too much alcohol leads to intoxication, dizziness and likely a lot of vomit. A person over their alcohol limit may show symptoms of requiring medical help. Ambulances should only respond to emergencies such as where a person stopped breathing or has a seizure – both examples which could happen to a drunk person, but not always. So, please check the patient for chest rise and sudden violent shaking, and if this does happen, call an ambulance. Otherwise grab a friend to escort him home, or call the police if the drunkard exhibits disorderly conduct.
Should I Call An Ambulance… For a Stranger?
You can be a good person and help someone in need, even if you aren’t related to him or her. But activating an ambulance can cost you money because you’re the one who called and the dispatcher knows your phone number. As the caller, you can be billed for the ambulance ride if you do not declare you have no relationship to the patient and you are just a passerby calling the ambulance purely out of goodwill for a stranger. Still, good karma says you should call for help for anyone in need and the money will eventually find its way back to you.
Can an Ambulance… Give Me An Injection?
Not all ambulances are made equal. Advanced life support ambulances are manned by paramedics who are trained in dispensing medications. Examples are adrenaline and tramadol. These lifesaving medicines can be administered by mouth (oral), topically (cream) or intravenous (through the vein and blood vessel). The injection is given based on the patient’s presenting condition. If and only if you need these medication, and if it is clinically assessed by the ambulance staff that it is necessary, then an injection is given. However if the medical assistant is not trained to give shots, then no shot is given. Emergency ambulance services do not give injections on request, so if you ask for a preventive flu jab, request for a COVID vaccine or have a high fever, there may be other ways to relieve symptoms rather than give an invasive prick.
Can an Ambulance… Be Rented?
Public ambulances cannot be rented as they respond to emergencies and are public government property. Private ambulance companies can have ambulances for short term lease or day-to-day rent. These rented services are used for television and movie film production, where real ambulances become pretend props for shows. Ambulances are also rented for medical cover during important events where there are important guests or if the activities performed are of high risk. Examples could be a formal dinner where a Minister is attending and school-district wrestling competition. Renting an ambulance, medical van or first aid vehicle varies in price, location and whether the staff accompanying the vehicle are actually trained medics. Costs are usually charged on an hourly or daily basis, with stated rates for overage.
Can An Ambulance… Send an Animal to the Hospital?
Ambulances you request by calling 911 (or the local number in your area) are public emergency medical response vehicles. These ambulances are meant to take humans who present life-threatening conditions to the hospital. Public ambulances do not ferry animals to the hospital, but there are animal ambulances which are usually modified and configured vans that fetch big animals like German Shepard dogs to the vet. These animal ambulances need to be prebooked well in advance and do not take on-the-spot requests.
Can an Ambulance… Beat Red Lights?
Ambulances in an emergency can beat red lights, exceed the speed limit and even drive in the opposite direction toward the direction of oncoming traffic. Law breaking in emergency operations is not common, but if the situation is critically time sensitive, the ambulance driver has the discretion to wilfully break the law. In those cases, ambulance drivers do this because it is more practical, sensible and comparatively low risk. Police may also assist in guiding and redirecting traffic so that the ambulance can go quickly to the hospital, yet maintain road safety for other road users.
Despite the perceived benefits of driving an ambulance, this does not extend to situations if you drive your own car or travel in a taxi. Additionally, any accident that happens as a result will still be borne by the ambulance driver. In fact, the ambulance driver has it worse because he knows the law and still flouted it. This is heavy responsibility is also why ambulance drivers do not beat lights or speed even though they can. No one wants to create a new accident while saving another person.
Ambulances usually drive fast, up to 10 to 20 KMPH above the speed limit because of the time sensitivity and urgency. Yet, driving beyond +20 will cause the vehicle to shake violently, which can cause more injury to the already injured patient.
On the other hand ambulances will also drive slow purposefully when it is necessary. When giving IV injections, medics need the vehicle to stable, so drivers reduce speed. Also, when taking the patient’s blood pressure and when the AED says “analysing heart rhythm”, a moving ambulance can create artefacts on the ECG (electrical rhythm) on the ambulance medical devices and give an incomplete reading.
Should I Call An Ambulance… To Ask Where It Is Going?
Family and relatives are often anxious to find out where their loved one is being sent to and whether if the ambulance has arrived at the hospital. You should not call the ambulance hotline to ask where the emergency vehicle is going because the dispatcher will not know. The dispatcher receives live updates on the real-time location but he cannot confirm if the ambulance will make a detour to another hospital. Detours and change in the intended hospital destination can happen. Such changes are because of hospital capacity (if the emergency room is full), the kind of specialist required to respond to the case is not available (kids should be sent to a children’s hospital instead of the regular Emergency Department) or even traffic conditions where it just makes more sense to drive to a further hospital as congestion would delay travel to a nearer hospital.
Ambulances may even stop by the roadside mid-way along the emergency response, as procedures such as intravenous injections require a steady environment whereas driving at 90 down a bumpy tar road will cause problems.
Can an Ambulance… Bill Affect My Credit?
Medical bills will affect your credit if you do have outstanding amounts at the point where you need to utilise your credit facility. Most of the time ambulance bills can be pricey, and for those who lapse or miss a payment, their credit score will go down. When non-payment happens, your interest rate on your existing loans (credit card, home loan and car loan) will increase since the risk of the bank borrowing to you will rise. Resultantly, the line of credit you have will decrease, your credit score also decreases, the amount you can borrow is reduced and you pay more to service your existing liabilities.
Can an Ambulance… Errors Be Criminalized?
As medical work on board in ambulances happen in confined spaces, medical errors on ambulances often do not become criminal matters. Errors are not detected usually because there is no third party to countercheck against medical procedures done. Hence, prosecution is difficult. Such that when a mistake is made, the discovery happens in the hospital. Even so, professional courtesy points hospital staff away from blaming their paramedic counterparts. Rather, in emergencies, it can be understandable that lapses happen not due to negligence, medical malpractice or improper training but rather the rush, time-sensitivity and urgency which creates opportunities for small errors. Medical errors should not be criminalised and are not criminalised if the originator has had sufficient attempts to remedy the matter and address it. However, if any party has sufficient evidence and medical knowledge, he or she may be able to criminalise medical errors in an ambulance setting.
Can an Ambulance… Make a Lot of Money?
The emergency medicine practice is not a field that is profitable. In addition, the ambulance industry has other affiliated services which are more lucrative. Instead of purely considering buying an ambulance to start your own ambulatory service or considering training to be an EMT or paramedic, below are related business activities which could pull in cash:
- Medical Referral: Rich people living in Abu Dhabi, Indonesia and Thailand may not trust, believe or would rather prefer going to certain countries to have surgery and procedures performed. Medical tourism is lucrative when you can locate and connect with these clients to medical institutions abroad. Referees could earn a big cut because of the difficulty in seeking out these high-valued clients and keeping them contented throughout their experience.
- Repatriation: In travel insurance policies, you may notice that insurers pay $1000 to $5000 per medical evacuation. But private medical evacuations are the most expensive when they are niche, challenging and rare. Pulling the spinal-injured from the mountain biking, helivac ambulance from river rapids or private search and rescue operations. These are 3 repatriation activities which will make more money than regular ambulance transportation.
Can an Ambulance… Ride Be Free?
Nearly all the time, when you call for an ambulance on the national emergency phone number, a public ambulance will respond to you. These public ambulances do not charge a fee for the ambulance ride. However, you do have to pay for the ambulance trip if your case is a non-emergency or if you prebook in-advance. Also, private ambulance operators will levy fees based on their published rates, though your final bill could be higher that your initially quoted price since extra medical services such as giving oxygen or even CPR could be performed as-when required. These are unanticipated costs which are only billed if the procedures are performed.
Can an Ambulance… Be Sued?
You can sue (bring legal action) on the operating entity of the ambulance service. If the ambulance is nationally operated and is a public service, you will be going up against a ministry, local or federal government. Conversely, if the ambulance is privatised, you may check your bill or available business directory to pinpoint the exact name of the company running the ambulance service. After which, you can direct your complaint and legal letters to that operating entity.
Will an Ambulance… Bring A Dead Person to the Hospital?
When someone dies on the way to the hospital, the ambulance does the following:
- Resuscitate (do CPR) to attempt to rescue the patient
- Continue the journey to the hospital
- If the time to hospital is large, the ambulance blares its siren and light in an attempt to clear traffic and signal emergency priority.
- If the patient is deemed flat-lined (passed on) with low chance of survival, the paramedic may declare time of death.
If the ambulance arrives and responds to an incident where the patient is already clearly deceased, then the ambulance crew may:
- Paramedic may certify death, sometimes with the confirmation via tele-conferencing with a doctor. Afterwhich the ambulance will leave the area without transporting the patient.
- The police is called to secure the scene and certify the facts. May be a case of unnatural death.
- Family members who arrive can opt to arrange their own coroner and rites according to preference and religious beliefs.
- Ambulance crew may be present to console and briefly explain the medical perspective (no breathing, pulseless and no electrical heart rhythm) to the police and family.
Can an Ambulance… Stay at the Incident Scene for Long?
Ambulances are required to take quick response to transport the patient to the medical facility as soon as possible. Ambulance will stay onsite for up to 20 minutes in most cases. As the situation is an emergency, paramedics are advised not to “stay and treat”, but take on the mentality of “load and go” because the hospital is often a better medical option to resolve the patient’s issues.
Ambulances operate on a 24 hour basis. Their crew are on shifts, and they also do alot of manual carrying and lifting work. Often ambulances would prefer to wrap up their open cases quickly, rest up and save up their energy for the really physically-draining rescues. As much as possible, the ambulance will stay on-scene and in the hospital for as little time as possible, and then drive their ambulances back to their operations base which is usually a fire station, police station or emergency outpost station for rest.
Can An Ambulance… Report You?
Ambulances are public service vehicles which can file a negative report against you as another driver if you fail to give way during an emergency. Non-compliance can be bad to the point you are summoned to court, because unlike regular traffic offences where the errant driver is warned or fined, ambulance related traffic incidents are considered severe. In court, the driver will be asked to explain his behaviour for hindering or blocking emergency service vehicles. The court proceedings can be publicised if there is national interest.
If the report derives from physical threat and abuse of ambulance officers, then the situation is as bad as attacking or doing the same unto police officers. Offenders who physically man-handle the medics are arrested on the spot in cuffs.
Can An Ambulance… Pull You Over?
An ambulance cannot pull you over unlike the police, and there is in fact no good reason for the ambulance to make you stop in traffic. When the ambulance is on duty and responding to a medical case, the ambulance merely expects you to give way to them. Getting out of their way allows them to travel without stopping and delay. There is no need for you to pull over to the side of the road; you just have to filter away from the ambulance and not block the ambulance.
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Information here is provide as-is, without warranty and liability. This tool filters down common ambulance queries in the best bid to get them answered.