Reality of the ED

Today I read this snippet, via Newsday.com:

NEW YORK – Two teens went to an emergency room complaining of pain, but police say they really wanted pills, needles and medical supplies from the Staten Island hospital.

Police say the pair found a sealed box in an emergency room cabinet, opened it and took medicine and supplies. A witness told a hospital security guard, who called police.

Which reminded me of a recent blog post by one of the very best blog writers, Dr. Edwin Leap:

edwinleap.com

The average person, the normal citizen, the otherwise functional patient has no idea of the remarkable degree of dysfunction and deception we see in the modern emergency department. Furthermore, they have no idea of the incredible boldness, the unflinching willingness to lie, misrepresent and manipulate to get what they want; and get it all for no charge.

There’s a reason EM types are a little jaded.

The wreck of the good ship, EMTALA at edwinleap.com

The wreck of the good ship, EMTALA at edwinleap.com
EMTALA, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, was passed in 1986. For those who aren’t familiar with yet another acronym, EMTALA is a federal law that was enacted to keep poor, uninsured patients from being ‘dumped’ on indigent-care hospitals, or any other facility, for financial reasons. Although it was a good idea, it soon grew fangs, tentacles, claws, rose up to several hundred stories in height and developed a surly attitude and bad breath. It is, in fact, one of the largest unfunded mandates the US legislative branch has ever gifted on its subjects.

Dr. Leap, speaking the Truth.  Read it.