Going to the hospital: Ambulance vs. driving yourself

Going to the hospital: Ambulance vs. driving yourself

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) -  It happens from time to time; someone is shot an instead of calling 911, and that person is rushed to the hospital in a personal vehicle.

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This exact scenario occurred Sunday after a 3-year-old accidentally shot himself. His father tried to rush the boy to the hospital in his personal vehicle, wrecking into two other cars along the way. The child was eventually brought to Norton Children's Hospital by emergency crews.

In cases where it seems better to just drive to the hospital, experts said you could be delaying help a victim desperately needs.

"They probably aren't in the best mental state to be driving," Emergency Services spokesperson Mitchell Burmeister said. Burmeister explained that although it may be a gut instinct to get in the car and go when someone is seriously hurt, it may not be the best instinct.

"It's always best to call 911 for life-threatening injuries," Burmeister said. "There may be injuries to the patient that you can't see on the surface, they may be internal."

Experts explained that you can also hurt someone else while on the road.

"There is a thing called do regard," LMPD spokesperson Dwight Mitchell said. "You can't go through traffic lights. You aren't an emergency vehicle. People aren't trained to for emergency driving."

All 911 calls go to MetroSafe.

"We handle about 1.5 million calls every year," Burmeister said. "Our operators are trained to give pre-arrival medical instructions. They will talk you through CPR."

When EMS arrives at a scene, they make sure the patient is stable and provide treatment on the way to the hospital. Often times when children are hurt, police also make sure the roads are clear to make sure the child gets to the hospital faster.

"We are a coordinated emergency response system so, that if we need to expedite or shut down lanes of traffic police can do that," Burmeister said. "That's another reason that we make sure they are trained medical providers are responding."

Police said taking matters into your own hands can create multiple crime scenes that may complicate a situation.

The grandmother of the child who shot himself on Sunday confirmed the boy was shot in the shoulder and is expected to be okay.

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