Cane and Able Stroke Recovery Group

Stroke: Why Waiting for an Ambulance Is Better Than Driving to the Hospital

We’ve all heard that minutes count when treating a stroke.

So, it might sound logical to get a ride to the hospital from a neighbor or family member instead of waiting for an ambulance to arrive and take the same journey.

“To help achieve the best outcome,” says Sara Chung, Stroke Program Coordinator at Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Michigan, “you’re always better off calling 9–1–1 and waiting for the ambulance. Paramedics will ensure that you’re stable, start an IV, and communicate your medical status directly to the Emergency Department at the hospital.”

Medical care begins as soon as you’re situated in the ambulance, instead of after your arrival at the hospital. Remember, minutes count.

The hospital’s triage process of determining the severity and priority of incoming patients is bypassed with the ambulance ride, saving additional time.

“Having advance notification, including pertinent vital statistics, allows the emergency personnel to prepare for your arrival. Other areas in the hospital are also alerted, smoothing the way and speeding the process for time-critical activities, such as a head CT Scan,” adds Brad Lukas, Beaumont’s Director of Emergency Nursing.

To summarize:
  1. Learn to recognize the signs of a stroke

  2. If you suspect a stroke is (or has) occurred call 9–1–1 immediately, even if the symptoms have stopped.

  3. Note the time the symptoms began; this can really help the medical staff.

  4. Take the ambulance to the hospital.

You may just save a life!