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Friday, June 5, 2009

Trouble at the ER

I responded to a post on my friend, Lizzard's blog, FeO2's Ramblings. Lizard suggested that people who rush to the ER for nonsensical things are most likely Obama supporters. His daughters, who have been sipping the liberal Koolaid for quite a long time now were trying to take issue with him. Go HERE to read the original post and comments. My entire comment follows below:

I'd have to agree with the Lizzard that most of the people that rush to the ER for nonsense are Obama supporters.


Because most of the people that do this have the attitude that SOMEONE ELSE besides them ought to be responsible for and pay for their healthcare.

Sit back on my ass and wait for the gubment to take care of my every need. This is at the heart of the attitude of an Obama supporter. There are some out there right now that still think Barry is gonna pay for the gas in their car and buy them a new house.

Just to be clear, being a redneck does not disqualify you from being an Obama supporter. I know several that fall into this category.

Sam is right on one point. Many ER visits are generated by the fact that family physicians will not try to accomodate any overflow and people are told to RUSH to the ER instead. What I frequently do when this happens is assess the person, tell them they do not have an emergency medical condition, and send them right back to the doctor's office. This makes some of the doctor's offices mad, but I really don't care.

Unnecessary ER visits are generated by in fact many sources:

1. The teacher at the school notices little Johnny is not feeling well. She calls little Johnny's mother and suggests she RUSH (the operative word is RUSH) little Johnny to the ER. Little Johnny has a cold. Why not instead suggest she make an appointment for little Johnny to see his regular doctor? The regular doctor can tell mom that there is nothing to be done a lot cheaper than the ER.

2. The cop at the scene of an auto accident tells the obviously non-injured person who by the way has no complaint that they better RUSH (the operative word is RUSH) to the ER and get "checked out".

"Why are you here?"

"The cop told me to come here and get checked out."

"Where do you hurt?"


"Okay, what exactly is it you want me to check then?"

"Why did the cop tell me to come up here?"

"Beats me."

This person will be charged several hundred dollars just for walking in to the ER even though nothing is going to happen. Why did the cop not suggest this person make an appointment with their local physician? Much much cheaper!

3. The home health nurse notices that Gertrude's blood pressure is a little high. She tells Gertrude that she had better RUSH (the operative word is RUSH) to the ER and get this taken care of.

I don't consider BP to be at an emergency level unless the top nummer is 220+ or the bottom nummer is 120+.

Of course Gertrude's BP might be a bit high but it is nowhere near this. I tell Gertrude she needs to make an appointment with her family doctor. The home health nurse should have done this as well.

"Why did the nurse tell me to RUSH up here?"

"Beats me."

4. It's Mother's Day and the visiting family seems to think that Grandma doesn't look quite as good as she did at this time last year. In spite of the fact that Grandma has no complaint and would rather sit and enjoy Mother's Day dinner, the busy body family members RUSH (the operative word is RUSH) grandma to the ER on Mother's Day Sunday.

Of course the ER doctor knows nothing of Grandma's medical history. They did not bring Grandma's huge sack of medicine and become angry when told they need to go back home and get it.

Since Grandma has no complaint, the ER doctor has nothing on which to focus. Sometimes the busy body family members will try to "help" by making up complaints for Grandma. The doctor might order a couple of unnecessary blood tests just to appease the family and maybe even an unnecessary xray (I call this "THERAPEUTIC RADIOLOGY").

With many dollars spent and nothing left to do, Grandma is finally discharged with instructions to make an appointment with her family doctor, who by the way is familiar with her medical history, already knows her medicine, and is the person of choice to make decisions regarding Grandma's health care.

As they go out the door, lighting their cigarettes, a couple of the angry relatives can be heard saying,

"Boy that was a waste of time!"
"That doctor was not worth a shit. He didn't do a damned thing for Grandma."
"I wouldn't bring my dead cat to that hospital!" (However they RUSHED Grandma there.)

Rest assured that all this bullshit going on in ER's takes away time and resources from people who are there with true emergencies. I told a complaining patient one time, "There is only one of me and I can only be in one place at a time."

I hope I have given you little Sheffields a glimpse into the REAL world. Sounds like maybe you girls have been sipping the Koolaid so long that you have become blinded to the truth.

By the way, Sam, what's wrong with spending 100 dollars for an office visit? Who declared YOU the authority on what a doctor or anyone else can charge for a service? The same people who complain about their doctor bill will have fancy Ipods and cellphones. They will have 2 or 3 packs of cigarettes in their purse. Some will drive up in fancy new cars, and you see the same people at the pizza parlor and the video store ordering overpriced pizzas and overpriced flicks. On the way home they will stop for a couple of six packs.

When I was practicing in Trenton, I had a woman who wouldn't pay me because she needed to use the money to buy her daughter a new dress for the beauty review.

Pizzas, videos, Ipods, cellphones, beer, cigarettes, new cars, and beauty reviews are unnecessary items that we could do without. However these people will buy these things, giving no thought to the price and yet they will be the first to complain about their doctor bill.



God forbid they might have to take care of it themselves!

Howzat, Lizzard???


  1. I couldn't agree more. I aint a doctor, but I aint blind, either.

  2. Thanks Lizzard. I dunno who been fillin' yore chilluns heads so fulla nonsense but maybe they'll see the light one day.

  3. People who have accidents rush to the ER when they feel fine because of the insurance. If a symptom pops up later in the day, the next day or a few days later, the insurance company won't want to pay for it unless you felt the need to be seen by a physician at the time of the accident. It's a "just in case" ER visit.

    Then you have people like our niece who rushes her child to the ER every time his temp is up a degree or two. This week she rushed him to the ER at 4:00 in the morning, then a few hours later when the kid still had the temp she took him to the family doctor. She got a different diagnosis from the family doctor than from the ER doctor, decided the ER doctor didn't know what he was talking about.

    Of course the ER doctor didn't have the kid's records or history like the family doctor did.

    ER doctors get a bad rap.

    Debbie Hamilton
    Right Truth