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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Canadian reporters are reporting the wrong news about emergency departments 

Canadian reporters are all atwitter about the news in the new CIHR emergency room study that 57 per cent of emergency room visits are for non-life-threatening conditions. But the story they missed is what is happening to the people who DO have life-threatening conditions. From the Conclusion section: "Overall, physicians saw just over half of all patients with a cardiac arrest, major trauma, or other condition that represents a threat to life or carries an immediate risk of deterioration within five minutes of their arrival in the ED in 2003-2004. On the other hand, the report also shows that that 1 in 10 patients with these types of health problems waited 45 minutes or longer to be seen." [Emphasis mine]
UPDATE: In fact, the more I think about it, the more I wonder why this significant Conclusion was not listed in the "highlights" section from which the reporters got their stories. If I was a real reporter, I would be phoning up the report publishers tomorrow to ask them.

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