Paramedic Accused of DWI after Wreck

From JEMS:

A Cleveland County paramedic faces an impaired driving charge after state troopers say he drove past a stop sign and slammed into an oncoming car Saturday.

To post or not to post ED wait times?

From Fierce Healthcare:

This highlights a concern with hospitals posting wait times on billboards and websites; the times might not always reflect reality. And in emergent-care situations, longer-than-expected wait times could pose major health risks to patients.

Train ER Doctors to Identify Human Trafficking Victims

From Change:

Victims of human trafficking are often hidden from society, allowed  contact with only their captors and abusers.  Opportunities to connect with social services, the police or other allies are tightly regulated and few and far between.  Thus, when victims are taken to the emergency room to recover from abuses associated with trafficking or other accidents and illnesses, emergency room personnel are a first line of defense against human trafficking.  Sometimes, ER personnel may be the first professional people a trafficking victim is allowed contact with. Therefore, it is critical they understand the signs and symptoms of human trafficking, so as to better provide help for the victims.

JEMS comments on night shift transfers

From JEMS:

I want to make sure nobody misunderstands me about this, so I’m going to break another rule, one they teach writers: Lay off the caps lock key. Ready? WE DO TOO MANY NIGHTTIME TRANSFERS.

There are exceptions to most rules, even good ones. When a patient comes into a community ED in the middle of the night with major trauma, a stroke, an ST-elevation myocardial infarction, an abruptio or something like that, then yes, they may need to be transferred in the middle of the night.

Otherwise, I think nighttime transfers of non-critical patients are voodoo medicine. They’re bad for 24-hour crews. And they’re bad for these patients—who always end up forfeiting a whole night’s sleep, being dragged unclothed into the cold night air, being interrogated at a second receiving facility and then paying for the privilege.

Rural Arizona Hospital Prepares For Future Cuts

From NPR:

Making the hospital profitable is tough. For about 100 years, Bisbee was a copper mining town. Scars and holes in the rock mark the spots where copper was once plentiful. But now the town of 5,500 people, just five miles from the Mexican border, has become a haven for hippies and tourists, the streets lined with art galleries and antique shops. People in the town and surrounding Cochise County tend to be low income and often suffer from chronic illnesses. Many are also uninsured.

In Rural Calif., A Debate On How To Save A Hospital

From NPR:

Rural hospitals across the nation have struggled to stay afloat. There are, of course, fewer patients in rural areas, and many of them are on public health insurance programs that pay far less than private insurers.

Residents in Modoc County, in the remote northeastern corner of California, will soon vote on whether to tax themselves to save their local hospital.

Four Loko, 11 Young People And A Busy Emergency Room

From NPR:

A team of emergency room docs in New York provides some more data on how the faddish beverage led to some pretty messed up kids. Their findings were just published online today by the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

The report describes 11 cases of young people who wound up at Bellevue Hospital Centerduring a four-month period in 2010 after drinking Four Loko. The median age of these kids was 16.4 years, and nearly all of them were under 21.