Emergency Medicine

When does the duty to provide emergency medical care end?

by Lyle Denniston

Hospitals know that medical care decisions often have legal consequences, which makes it all the more important to know what the law requires. But when judges can’t agree, and there also is some ambiguity in the way government officials see a legal issue affecting care decisions, hospitals may need to go to the ultimate authority – the U.S. Supreme Court – for an …

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Can chest pain patients be evaluated in the ER waiting room?

by John Gever

Emergency department patients with chest pain may safely be evaluated in the waiting room when necessary, researchers said.

Among 303 patients triaged to waiting-room evaluation in a prospective study, no acute coronary syndromes were missed and adverse event rates overall were lower than among 804 patients who were assessed in conventional monitored beds, reported Frank Scheuermeyer, MD, of St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, and colleagues online in …

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False patient contact information worsens emergency care

One of the biggest emergency room problems is contacting patients after they leave.

Patients sometimes leave false contact information — which makes it difficult for the emergency room staff should problems arise after the visit.

The issue was illustrated in a piece from msnbc.com. Many times, results like blood cultures or x-ray findings take time to return. And if there’s something that needs to be acted upon, contacting the …

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