Medical care in emergencies gets low marks.Byline: Tim Christie The Register-Guard
The nation's system of emergency medicine is overcrowded o·ver·crowd
v. o·ver·crowd·ed, o·ver·crowd·ing, o·ver·crowds
To cause to be excessively crowded: a system of consolidation that only overcrowded the classrooms. and ill-prepared to deal with public health or terrorist disasters, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a report card to be released today.
Oregon's system earned a C-minus grade, the same as the average grade given to the nation's emergency medicine system by the American College of Emergency Physicians The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is the largest organization of emergency physicians in the United States. It was founded in 1968 and is now headquartered in Dallas,Texas. . Overall, Oregon ranked 35th for its support of emergency medicine.
"The emergency health care system's in serious condition,'' said Boston emergency physician Stephen Epstein Stephen E. Epstein, M.D, is a physician. Formerly Chief of the Cardiology Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland for over 30 years, became Director of Vascular Biology Research at the Cardiovascular Research , a member of the task force that studied the nation's emergency care. `We have a safety net for health care that is frayed.'
California, Massachusetts, Connecticut and the District of Columbia District of Columbia, federal district (2000 pop. 572,059, a 5.7% decrease in population since the 1990 census), 69 sq mi (179 sq km), on the east bank of the Potomac River, coextensive with the city of Washington, D.C. (the capital of the United States). were rated best in emergency care. The lowest grades went to Utah, Idaho and Arkansas.
Oregon's C-minus was based on grades in four areas: A C-plus for access to emergency care; a D for quality and patient safety; a B-plus for public health and injury prevention; and a D-minus for medical liability environment.
The report said Oregon ranked 40th in the ratio of registered nurses to population; 49th for the ratio of staffed hospital beds to population; 48th for annual per capita [Latin, By the heads or polls.] A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will. It means to share and share alike according to the number of individuals. expenditure on hospital care; 42nd for annual payments per fee-for-service enrollee in Medicare; and 40th in annual state contributions to the State Children's Health Children's Health Definition
Children's health encompasses the physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being of children from infancy through adolescence. Insurance Program.
Oregon also lags in the emergency medicine residency programs and percentage of the population with access to advanced life support services support services Psychology Non-health care-related ancillary services–eg, transportation, financial aid, support groups, homemaker services, respite services, and other services .
On the positive side, Oregon ranked eighth among all states for its public health and injury prevention programs, and had the lowest percentage of traffic fatalities in which no restraint was used. The state also ranked fourth for annual emergency visits per board-certified emergency physician; seventh in board certified board certified,
adj the status of a dental specialist such as an orthodontist who has become a board diplomate by successfully completing the certification program of the recognized certification board in that area of practice. emergency physicians per 100,000 people; and eighth for trauma centers per 1 million people.
Kathleen Barr, manager of the McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center emergency room and an ER nurse for 30 years, said she was not surprised by Oregon's C-minus grade.
"Emergency departments have been struggling for years to meet the needs of the public. They've been overcrowded and underbedded for years."
As more people lose access to insurance coverage and primary health care, more turn to ERs for primary care, Barr said.
Portland emergency physician John Moorhead, past president of ACEP ACEP American College of Emergency Physicians. and the Oregon Medical Association, said overcrowding overcrowding
overcrowding of animal accommodation. Many countries now publish codes of practice which define what the appropriate volumetric allowances should be for each species of animal when they are housed indoors. Breaches of these codes is overcrowding. of ERs is an overriding issue.
"Access is a major issue and the biggest threat to Oregon citizens," he said. "If we can't accommodate day-to-day traffic, we're certainly not well-pre- pared to deal with some major unforeseen disaster."
Policymakers should view ERs as extension of public safety, such as fire and police services, and provide some public funding, he said.
"Americans assume they will receive lifesaving emergency care when and where they need it, but increasingly that isn't the case," said Dr. Frederick Blum, president of the physicians' group.
The number of emergency departments has declined by 14 percent nationwide since 1993 despite an increasing number of people coming to them for treatment, the report said.
Hurricane Katrina showed the critical need for surge capacity in emergency medical care when a disaster occurs, the report noted. In addition, people suffering from the flu crowd emergency rooms every year.
The compact District of Columbia, which includes several emergency care centers, ranked first for access to emergency care, along with Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island Rhode Island, island, United States
Rhode Island, island, 15 mi (24 km) long and 5 mi (8 km) wide, S R.I., at the entrance to Narragansett Bay. It is the largest island in the state, with steep cliffs and excellent beaches. . No state received a failing mark for access.
Emergency patients tend to be sicker and more unstable than others, causing some specialists to be reluctant to see them because of the higher liability and higher malpractice insurance rates, said Epstein, the Boston doctor and task force member.
The result is that some specialists, such as neurosurgeons, leave certain states or refuse to provide emergency care.
In addition to access to emergency care, the report also looked at quality of care, efforts to prevent injuries and improve public health so emergency care wouldn't be needed, and the medical liability climate in states, such as caps on noneconomic damage awards and protection for physicians who provide emergency care.
The Associated Press contributed to this report