Katrina Heroes: EDPs, EMTs

From Gruntdoc, who quotes from the AP Wire:

Disasters always spawn heroes.

On Sept. 11, 2001, many of them wore dark blue uniforms that said FDNY.

On Sept. 1, 2005, many wore hospital scrubs that said MD, RN and EMT. Thousands of health care workers stayed with patients in devastated hospitals after the storm struck. Thousands more rushed in to help.

They are people like Dr. Norman McSwain, a legendary, 68-year-old Tulane University trauma surgeon who on Sept. 1 waded through fetid floodwaters to get out word that thousands of people were trapped in hospitals running out of food and water.

And Dr. Rich Tabor, a 38-year-old Bethlehem, Pa., emergency medicine physician who got partners to cover his shifts and paid $520 out of his own pocket for a plane ticket to Louisiana, where he climbed into an airboat and went door-to-door with rescue workers.

And Barry Albertson Jr., 42, a paramedic from Easton, Pa., who missed his 7-year-old son’s first peewee football game to join a caravan of ambulances making the 30-hour trip to New Orleans.

And Dr. Lee Garvey, 48, an emergency room doctor at Carolinas Medical Center who dropped everything to staff a state-of-the-art mobile hospital that provided the only trauma care for seven devastated counties in rural Mississippi.

“We’re here because this is what we live to do,” Garvey said, “trying to offer something to these people.”

HIPAA Violation in ED Case?

From HIPAA blog:

Interesting HIPAA issue: in this case in Illinois, the plaintiff sued the hospital on the grounds that the hospital did not see the plaintiff in the emergency room quickly enough to save her. In order to prove their case, the plaintiffs asked the hospital to release the time the patient checked into the ER, the time of treatment, and the “acuity” score for the patient. The plaintiffs wanted the information to show that other patients were seen more quickly than the deceased, and that it wasn’t because the other patients were in a more urgent situation.


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