I recently saw a video on a news channel where people were taking selfies and recording video of the victims of a car accident. The victim ended up dying because no one helped him.

It got me thinking about the possibility of saving the victims with my bare hands. Obviously this risks me catching some disease. (Saving means rushing them to a hospital with my own vehicle until an ambulance arrives).

Do I risk catching any diseases assisting crash victims?

  • i think this question will trigger humanity around the world. Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 12:43
  • 4
    Rushing him to the hospital instead of waiting for an ambulance pretty much just ensures his death. Don't do that.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 15:15
  • @CareyGregory Yep
    – L.B.
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 15:45
  • @CareyGregory I'd say that really depends on where in the world the accident happened and how long one would have to wait for the ambulance...
    – Arsak
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 13:53
  • 3
    @Marzipanherz Okay, but I'd say it's true anywhere in the developed world. In third world countries you may be the only ambulance there is.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 15:08

1 Answer 1


In short, the answer (regarding diseases) is yes.

Anytime you deal with blood or other bodily fluid, you risk catching a variety of diseases. The risk is compounded if you are not wearing proper protective equipment, washing your hands after handling them and covering breaks in skin before handling. Here is a list of the diseases you could end up with as well as a list of other fluids and how exposures can occur.

If you would like to learn more and be able to better assist your patients, you should take first aid classes. Also, if you think that you have a high likelihood of coming in contact with blood or other fluids, you should consider carrying a pair of disposable medical gloves and safety glasses in your vehicle (or backpack... Something that is often with you).

If you live in an area that has fairly prompt ambulance response, you are much better off not trying to take the patients to the hospital. Instead, if it is safe to do so, try to redirect traffic around the patient so that they don't get hit again and try to keep bystanders a few feet back from the incident so that they do not get hit as well. Try to avoid completely stopping traffic as this can effect the emergency vehicle's ability to get to the scene.

Your safety on scene is your priority, if you have the equipment, training to do so and ability to not get hit in the process, you should attempt to provide care to the patients. If any of those factors is not possible, you are much better off trying to keep the patient calm, keep bystanders at a distance - if possible - and try to keep the patient(s) from getting hit again.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please feel free to ask questions if you need clarification.

  • 1
    Might also recommend keeping a reflective vest (pretty cheap) in your trunk. Trying to redirect traffic can often lead to you getting injured if you're not trained. We saw tons of "paired" pts when I was in the L1 trauma world b/c of this.
    – Atl LED
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 20:39

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