LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — There is a growing trend of people turning to Uber or Lyft instead of ambulances to rush to emergency rooms to save money.
One expert warns that riders who need immediate medical attention are putting their lives in more danger.
“If you go to the wrong hospital because of self-transport or Uber or Lyft, that hospital will then call 911,” said Marc Eckstein, the Los Angeles City Fire Department’s medical director.
Then those riders are likely to be put in an ambulance anyway and taken to other hospitals that offer specific medical needs.
“That difference of 30 minutes or more could mean the difference between life and death,” Eckstein explained. “Because not only our EMTs and paramedics trained to stabilize and resuscitate them [patients] on scene, they also know what hospital to transport them to.”
Calling an ambulance can cost $100 and $1,700.
Uber issued this statement: “We’re grateful our service has helped people get to where they’re going when they need it most. However, it’s important to note that Uber is not a substitute for law enforcement or medical professionals. In the event of any medical emergency, we encourage people to call 911.”