A Night in the ER

October 7, 2011
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This is the county’s safety net hospital, the place where the ill come for medicine, the wounded come for help, and the dying come for miracles. As many as 550 patients a day pass through its emergency room, one of the busiest in the nation. They wait an average of four hours to see a doctor — and then longer for further evaluation, treatment or an open bed. The total wait from the time a patient arrives until he is admitted or discharged has averaged nine hours recently. The economy has made the delays worse.

This is the county’s safety net hospital, the place where the ill come for medicine, the wounded come for help, and the dying come for miracles. As many as 550 patients a day pass through its emergency room, one of the busiest in the nation. They wait an average of four hours to see a doctor — and then longer for further evaluation, treatment or an open bed. The total wait from the time a patient arrives until he is admitted or discharged has averaged nine hours recently. The economy has made the delays worse. More jobless and uninsured people rely on the ER for primary care and prescriptions, and by law the hospital cannot turn them away.

This is going to get much worse under ObamaCare. More from the LATimes.

Image credit: Robert Gauthier/LA Times