Tuesday, 3 April 2007

When the hospital calls 911

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So the idea is that you call 911 in an emergency, hoping to get rushed to the hospital. But what happens when the hospital calls 911?

Believe it or not, it happens fairly often. I get that sometimes stabilizing a patient and calling for "Flight for Life" to take them somewhere with more advanced equipment or specialized staff is necessary, but a hospital calling 911? No way, that's like a doctor calling himself...

Well apparently "hospital" doesn't always mean "doctor." In over 140 small hospitals around the country there isn't always a doctor in the facility around the clock, and so when patients suffer severe complications like breathing problems or medication reactions the nurses resort to dialing 911 to get the patient rushed to a bigger hospital with an MD on site.

It sounds like there are a whole lot of politics surrounding these small hospitals that specialize in procedures like heart surgery and knee replacements, but as far as I'm concerned it's pretty simple: if you want to use the name "hospital" you should be required to have a doctor -- at all times.

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