Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Some hospitals call 911 for medical help

In medical emergencies, many doctor-run specialty hospitals call 911 for help to stabilize patients, causing delays that can put patients at risk, says a new government report prompted by the deaths of two specialty hospital patients after elective surgeries.

In both cases, complications arose when no doctor was on duty, and the hospitals called 911.

To assess the ability of such hospitals to manage medical emergencies, the Office of the Inspector General for the Health and Human Services Department reviewed patient care and safety at 109 doctor-owned specialty hospitals it identified.

Included were 33 in Texas, which has the nation's highest concentration of the hospitals, according to the report. About half of the hospitals examined didn't have an emergency department. Of those that did, more than half had only one bed for emergency patients. (info from Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

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