Man dies in ER after waiting 19 hours for treatment
In an earlier entry, we reported on the increasing delays that occur in Emergency Rooms as hospitals became the primary treater of a greater share of the population who are uninsured. Studies show that the delay in intervention for heart attack, for example, has been signficant and is long enough at many institutions to affect the patient's outcome. A dramatic example of this problem occurred Parkland Memorial Hospital in Texas last Friday, when a man died while waiting to see a doctor. He had been taken to the ER on Thursday afternoon and was still waiting to be seen on Friday at 11 a.m.
Parkland had been criticized earlier for its ER delay, and administrators at Parkland had claimed that the problem was successfully addressed. An autopsy had not yet been performed on the man who died last Friday, so the cause of death wasn't immediately known. He had presented with severe abdominal pain. When the medical authorities do issue a cause of death, it will probably include a gratuitous claim that the man's problem was not survivable, even with prompt treatment.