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NY Times Opinion: When hospital overcrowding becomes personal

A pretty insightful and interesting reflection on emergency departments in the states from a US surgeon as he looks back on his junior training years. The article is written in the context of a recent essay by another US surgeon and assistant Professor of Surgery at the prestigious University of California medical school. This surgeon’s mother died suffering from a stroke after having to wait a full day in the ED just to get a bed before an irregular heart beat was corrected. For the junior med students and hopefuls, the two (stroke and irregular heartbeat) were likely related.

The full article is available here.

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Again, another article with themes very unique to a United States health care setting but, doing my ED rotation at the moment, I assure you that having some patients being assessed and treated on plastic chairs in ED corridors is the rule rather than the exception. Sometimes these patients remain there for hours in considerable distress.I <a href=http://www.medstudentsonline.com.au/entry.php?231-I-hate-how-often-I-distress-people-with-needles>blogged</a> the other day on a related topic and the sentiments have stayed the same with every day I spend at hospital ED(s).
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      JeremiahGreenspoon
    • July 15, 2011
    Interesting thought-provoking article, thanks for posting.<br />
    A frustration must be people self-admitting to ED for things they should be seeing their GP for.<br />
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    I can say that the 4 hour rule in the UK has upset some doctors quite a bit, forcing them to compromise on treatment&#8230; among other things, but my feeble brain forgets.
      <blockquote><br />
      A frustration must be people self-admitting to ED for things they should be seeing their GP for.<br />
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      A greater frustration is access block, which is not caused by such patients.
        The US system really is quite messed up and I'm glad that ours doesn't have that remuneration system. <br />
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        However our system isn't that great either. Anyone has been to the emergency department will have to wait a long time before they get seen unless they come in via ambulance.
          <blockquote>Anyone has been to the emergency department will have to wait a long time before they get seen unless they come in via ambulance.</blockquote><br />
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          Actually, that's a myth. A lot of patients call an ambulance because they mistakenly believe as such - in truth, patients are triaged the same, regardless of their mode of arrival. Take a look at how often ambulance trollies are queued up (five or six at a time being not uncommon) at any time in a busy tertiary centre - this should give you an idea as to how quickly these people are seen.
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          JeremiahGreenspoon
        • July 15, 2011
        <blockquote>A greater frustration is access block, which is not caused by such patients.</blockquote><br />
        <br />
        What's that?
          Google it and see for yourself. The first link that comes up is a good start, nonetheless:<br />
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          <a href=http://www.acem.org.au/media/Access_Block1.pdf>http://www.acem.org.au/media/Access_Block1.pdf</a>
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