Monday, September 12, 2011


Fact: Going to an Urgent Care when you have chest pain is ridiculous. You're just going to get put into an ambulance for a ride to the ER, the place you should have gone to in the first place. (Should you have access to a hospital that is; I'm not harping on super rural areas that don't have a hospital.)

With heart stuff, time is muscle and you want treatment as quickly as possible. That's why there are ERs, so that you can get that major treatment quickly. Duh. No Urgent Care is outfitted with the things necessary to immediately diagnose and treat a heart attack or angina. By going to an Urgent Care instead of the ER you are actually wasting time instead of saving it (the reason many people give when they show up at an Urgent care instead of an ER). During the time where you could have been receiving treatment at a hospital you're waiting for an ambulance transport.

Going to an Urgent Care when you've got chest pain is also more expensive. You show up to the Urgent Care, they call an ambulance, and then there's that to pay for. If you'd gone straight to the ER you'd have avoided that inevitable REMSA transport to proper care.

Why the ambulance instead of you just hopping back in your car to head for the hospital yourself? Liability, fools. Once you've surrendered yourself to a physician's care they're responsible for your care, and the ambulance transport is a necessary transfer of liability—from the hands of one medical team to the next. Without signing a bunch of waivers to forgo the ambulance ride you've locked yourself into sirens.

Oh, and though it's really neither here nor there, if you show up at an Urgent Care with chest pain, the staff (and the provider, really) hate you. You are wasting their time. There are patients in the waiting room who these medical professionals can actually help. People who have to wait longer now because you've showed up. With a chest pain patient, they can only do so much. Sure, they can hook you up to an ECG, but that's only 70% accurate. They can give you some aspirin. But mostly they just make the phone call to REMSA and keep an eye on you while they wait for the sound of sirens so that they can watch the paramedics haul your ass to real treatment.

1 comment:

Sue said...

We have been schooled.