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Paramedic reveals why you should never follow an ambulance to hospital

Jan 13, 2024

A paramedic has issued an urgent warning to family members who want to follow their loved ones to hospital in their own cars, explaining it could cause injury to themselves or others if they make a mistake

A paramedic is urging people against following their loved ones to the hospital after calling for an ambulance. He explained how a family member usually reaches for their car keys as soon as the ambulance starts up its engine - but says doing so could land them in the hospital too.

Issuing a warning on social media, the medic said: "If a loved one is taken in an ambulance, do not follow us to the hospital. Go there on your own time and own route."

He says people develop "tunnel vision" when panic sets in, which could cause them to make devastating decisions. "Whenever I was loading a patient in the ambulance, a family member would inevitably run up to me, keys in hand saying 'I’ll follow you to the ER', he added.

"No. People in an emotional state following another vehicle will develop tunnel vision and forget all traffic laws.

"You will blow stop signs. You will follow me right through an intersection even if the light has already turned red for you. You will slam into the back of the ambulance if we need to make a sudden stop.

"Remember, the patient faces backwards and can see out the back window as you blow a red light and get T-boned by an overloaded ice cream truck."

Instead, he says it's best to "wait 10 minutes, take a deep breath and slowly make your way to hospital" using your own route, if possible.

Commenting on his Reddit post, one user said: "A good use of this time is to pack an overnight bag for your loved one. Being in hospital is awful, but it's even worse without clean underwear."

Another user added: "This advice is golden. When I lost my wife, the EMT team worked on her in our house to try and resuscitate her before being able to move her.

"While they were working on her, a second ambulance attended and it was solely for the purpose of getting me safely to the hospital.

"It parked in such a way to block my car from being immediately able to follow the main ambulance and one of the second ambulance's EMTs drove me, in my car to the hospital.

"I'm glad they did that, but I often wonder if a call response was missed or delayed because of the need to keep my crying panicked ass from trying to follow an ambulance Die Hard style.

"I lost my world that day, but thankfully I didn't inflict any harm by driving in such an emotional state."

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A third user said: "In more than one occasion, I’ve seen an accident by someone who was following an ambulance.

"It's already dangerous enough that they could cause an accident by themselves. This is very good advice."

One more user added: "When I had to call for an ambulance for my dad, police officers responded along with EMS and gave me the same instructions as the ambulance left - wait here for five to 10 before leaving, breathe deeply even though you don't want to, don't be in a rush because you can't be there in ER anyway.

"It felt like the longest 10 minutes ever, but as others said, it gave me time to grab a few things and take pics of all of his medications.

"I was in a much better state to drive by then and was so grateful to the responders for giving me that advice."

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