ER workers call 911 to assist patient outside their door

Friday, April 24, 2009

This week, a builder in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada informed the City Hospital Emergency Room staff that a man in a hospital gown had just collapsed outside the door. The man was within feet of the ER and was in obvious need of help.

Leaping to action, a member of the ER staff called 911. The 911 dispatcher called an ambulance. After a 4 to 6 minute wait, the ambulance arrived.

The ER staff made no attempt to step outside the door to look at the man, assess his needs or help him. That sort of emergency is something that emergency workers wouldn't handle. Rather than help, they chose to call 911 to assist a man they could see through the doors.

Fortunately, before the ambulance arrived, security guards did the logical thing-- they helped the man into the ER. Were it not for the security staff, the ambulance workers would have had to do the job.

According to Patti Simonar, director of emergency and critical care services for the region, what the ER staff did was standard procedure. After all, having the ER staff to go outside the door creates a risk for the patient (?) and staff.

In a similar incident, back in 2006, Ron Bitz arrived at the hospital ER 10 minutes before it opened (9:00 am) suffering from a heart attack. He was not allowed to come in. Rather, an ambulance was called. The rescue workers worked on him until 9 and then carried him into the ER.
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