By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new study finds that victims of gunshots and stabbings are significantly less likely to die if they’re taken to the hospital by a private car than by an ambulance.

Mike Schuh reports the authors came to that conclusion after looking at more than 100,000 people who were shot or stabbed.

It seems like it’s been drilled into us: call an ambulance — if you drive someone to the hospital you may kill them.

But, for a very narrow type of injuries caused by guns and knives, a new study turns that idea on its head.

And we found that patients should be coming by private vehicle,” says Dr. Elliott Haut, with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He’s one on the authors of the study.

The numbers aren’t even close. 11.6 percent of stabbing and shooting victims die when brought in by ambulance. Only 2.2 percent die when they come in a private vehicle.

“We think the number one thing has to do with time. So, the second you’re shot or stabbed you start bleeding, and the most important thing you need to do is stop that bleeding,” says Dr. Haut.

If they’re thrown into a family or friend’s car, the survival statistics are 15 percent better.

“Especially patients who are very close to the trauma center, if they can get there quickly, that 5-10 minute difference can make all the difference in the world,” says Dr. Haut.

The authors applaud the work done by EMTs, but say for gunshot and stab wounds, the data is clear.


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