Time we all had a refresher on what happens and what to do. Read and listen.
Rush made the same stupid mistake most people do; called his friend, not 911.
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From my over 10 years experience as an EMT, most often people wait too long before getting help with a heart attack. If you can get to a hospital within an hour of the first onset of symptoms, a heart attack can usually be reversed almost 100%. Unfortunately, it was common to hear "all day long" as a response to the question, "How long have you been having chest pains?" Sometimes we would even hear "Two days". Its just sad that people don't take it as seriously as it needs to be taken.
The fear that many people probably have is that they'll be clogging up the emergency room with every false alarm - or, looking at it from the other direction, having to deal with going to the damned emergency room for a false alarm. If everybody called 911 for every chest pain, it would destroy the already overtaxed 911, EMT/rescue, and emergency room systems and beat up the economy pretty badly too...stressing people out and giving THEM heart attacks too!
jay, you are right but for smaller things I really do look at the overall bill. maybe I am just weird.
a good example of this is at the beginning of december, my daughter spilled coffee on her hand and burnned the mess out of it. I was not there, my wife had went to visit her father out of town. he suggested going to an immediate care facility instead of the emergency room. she is on my insurance and the ER copay is $150 where as the immediate care facility is considered a specialist (or better, just a specialist) which has a copay of $30. she didn't have my insurance card so she had to pay out of pocket and was still only $100.
the immediate care facility would have also told her if they couldn't have handled it and redirected them towards the ER if that was the case.
I will agree that your life is more important than money but in some cases there are more options if you do have time to consider them. a heart attack isn't really one of those times where you have time to consider options.
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Yes, for smaller stuff, urgent care facilities are great. I went to one last time I had the flu. The place was 2 miles from home, I was seen within 30 minutes, and the bill was under $100 (I forgot my insurance card - I charged it, and came in a few days later with my card and they redid the bill). With a suspected heart attack though, time is crucial. The patient's chances of a full recovery go down with each passing minute before care is administered.
How many false alarms is one person going to go through before they decide the money is worth more? Most people will quit going after they've spent $500 on false alarms.
Besides, it's not just the money; I'd rather die at home than die in the waiting room at the ER. A couple months ago I took my wife to the ER. The people who would be at the top of the triage list had been there 12 hours. That's abnormal but not extreme here. Maybe ER waiting time is different where you are.
Immediate care places are much better but they don't seem to exist in Massachusetts, so if I'm at work I'm going to have to drive an hour to get to one. At least at home I'm 15 minutes from an immediate care office, but of course if it happens when they're not open then I'm screwed. I'm better off waiting all night for them to open than going to the ER.
If you are having a heart attack, you don't sit in the waiting room. Its called Triage. The most critical patients are seen first. If you do spend hours waiting in an ER then you probably should be at an urgent care facility, and not an ER.