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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Closest Receiving Facility

In LA County EMS the closest receiving facility is the hospital that is closest to you (in time not distance) that can take care of your patients problem. We generally like to take our patients to the MAR since it means that they will get seen by a doctor sooner. Paramedics can take you to another facility for a couple of reasons, most often because the MAR is closed to paramedics (possible reasons to close include saturation of the ER and internal disaster such as a hazardous material leak or a power outage). The other major reason we do not take a to the MAR is they request to go somewhere else. This may be due to insurance or just because they like a certain hospital.

The call goes out for an altered patient right outside Little Company of Mary Hospital's ER lobby doors. My first thought is why isn't the ER staff walking the 15 feet through their lobby and treating the patient?!! Evidently our patient just found out that her dad has cancer. After she got the news she went outside that lobby of the ER to try and stave off a panic attack. In her agitated state of mind she thought that it would be a good idea to up the dosage on her Xanax. She was now not acting normal (for her) and her family was getting worried. Then, a helpful hospital volunteer happened to walk by and called 911 (instead of getting a wheel chair and walking to the ER). When we got there we found a woman in her 40's that was unable to tell us her name. She could answer everything else just fine. When asked which hospital she would like to be taken to she decided that it would be better to drive across the city to another area hospital than to be seen by the doctor that had just "given" her father cancer. All we could do was check to see if the hospital she wanted to go to was closed. We crossed our fingers but no luck. We had to drive away from the ER to go to the ER.


Reena said...

I heart xanax.

kind of a sad story though. I'm guessing there was no convincing her to stay at the current hospital and be seen by another doc?

Or, given the state she was in, load her up, drive around the block and unload her at the same ER and hope she doesn't get the same doctor.

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

We try when we can to take the patient to the hospital of their choice (even strange calls like this one). It makes them feel more comfortable during a stressful time.

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