Thursday, June 25, 2009

ER (Emergency Room) advice from CNN

If you follow CNN, you'll probably see this article titled, "How to get help in a hurry in the ER." Did you know that the average total waiting time in a U.S. emergency room in 2008 was four hours and three minutes, a 27-minute increase in nationwide average wait times since 2002?

What would you do if your spouse had a life-threatening emergency and you needed to grab someone's attention in the emergency room? Get the perspective from 4 different ER docs:
  • Dr. Assaad Sayah, chief of emergency medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance, Massachusetts
  • Dr. Jesse Pines, assistant professor of emergency medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Joseph Guarisco, chief of emergency services at Ochsner Health System, Louisiana
  • Dr. David Beiser, assistant professor of medicine, University of Chicago
Click here to read this CNN article.


  1. I'm going to give you two magic words that will get you fast-tracked into fast track at an ER. The words that spring people into action better than a broken tibia or ruptured femur. Two words that may someday save your life. Just tell them to the triage person the next time you go to an ER.

    Chest pain.

  2. Let's hope that people don't go into ERs and cry wolf!

  3. Just because Elizabeth Cohen's idiot friend's houseguest got an antihistamine for their "allergic reaction" does NOT mean it merited an ER visit. A little benadryl at home would have done the same. As a 20 yr ER nurse, let me tell you one thing...there is NO such thing as a VIP in an ER. You start name dropping to me, and you get into the penalty box! All these idiots wanting "universal" healthcare have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. You think healthcare is expensive now, just wait until the government controls all of it. And to the people who call EMS for bogus calls and those who say they have "chest pain" when they don' time you or someone close to you REALLY needs ER care, and they don't get can rest assured that we are taking care of the dipsticks that are having "chest pain" or arrived by EMS because they have a headache !! And by the way, if these idiots on want to make an intelligent argument, they should be able to spell !!!

  4. This was interesting for me to read. There are a lot of flaws with our health care system today, as there are with a great many of the processes in this country. I have been a Registered Nurse for 12 years, and worked in many different areas (not including the emergency room). I have however, worked in Labor & Deliver, where we triage patients as they do in the Emergency Room, by symptoms and history. People in this country have demanded that we have the "latest and greatest" technology and procedures, and we are saving sicker and sicker patients these days. I think sometimes people forget that in order for this to occur, physicians have to become more specialized and health care has become much more expensive. I have been saddened by the lack of respect that a GP/FP is given because they are not a "specialist", and thus there are fewer and fewer left, making the time to get in to see them longer and longer. Please remember, the ER is not a clinic, even if you have no insurance. It is for emergencies, things that can't wait for business hours the next day. There are more and more urgent care clinics popping up, and most larger cities have "indigent clinics" which with provide care on a sliding scale depending on income (I live in a city with a population of 75,000 and we have one). Please just remember, we will try and treat you with the respect and care that you deserve, and we ask the same of you.