Patients With Gunshot Wounds Fare Better Traveling to Hospital in a Car: Study

Patients With Gunshot Wounds Fare Better Traveling to Hospital in a Car: Study

Getting to the hospital in an ambulance is a good idea if you have a heart attack, but it maybe not be the best way in other emergencies.

Another mass shooting has occurred in the United States. At least 59 people are reported killed at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada, marking the largest mass shooting in modern American history, and an astonishingly sad day for the country.

Thankfully, few of us will ever have to face a bullet wound in person, or an emergency on such a mass scale. Those who did in Vegas are in our hearts and minds, but it’s hard to think of a safe space within this terror. In fact, an ambulance bed could come to mind as the best and only place to be in such an emergency. A recent study shows though, that this might not be the case. When it comes to traveling with a fatal wound, the best way to get to the hospital could be by car.

Related: This Invention Can Seal a Gunshot Wound in 20 Seconds- and It’s Just Been Approved by the FDA

A study done by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine provides the surprising data.

“Unlike CPR and defibrillation for heart attacks, the type of damage done in penetrating trauma often can’t be reversed in a prehospital setting,” says Michael W. Wandling, M.D, M.S., an American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Scholar in Residence, and the study’s first author.

“..prehospital interventions can actually result in less favorable outcomes for certain types of injuries,” Dr. Wandling added.

It seems that some injuries, such as stabbings and gun shot wounds, are often better left untouched until a patient can reach hospital care and possibly surgery.

During the study, researchers examined data from the American College of Surgeons National Trauma Data Bank, the largest available collection of United States trauma registry data.

The team gathered information on 103,029 patients. All of these were patients who were at least 16 years old and who had entered a trauma center in the U.S between January 1st, 2010, and December 31st, 2012.

All were within the 100 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States.

Related: 3 Ways Your Cell Phone Could Save Your Life in an Emergency

It was found that patients who rode by ground EMS, (in an ambulance), fared worse than those who didn’t. Those attended to in an ambulance had an 11.6% mortality rate, whereas those who traveled to hospital in a private vehicle experienced a mortality rate of just 2.2%.

While this isn’t a time to knit pick and consider if calling an ambulance for help is a good call to make when a mass event occurs, the data is a reminder. At times taking matters into your own hands in the moment could result in a positive outcome, depending on the equipment that’s required.

Hoping to help? has details on how you can donate blood to help the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, even if you aren’t in the area.

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