Released this week, a Harvard University analysis of more than 90,000 U.S. emergency room visits found that one in four heart-attack patients waited 50 minutes or more to be seen by a physician in an emergency room.
Emergency Medicine doc, Dr. Assaad Sayah offered some honest testimony to the pandemonium that is often times the American ER:
"There are truly situations where it's so busy there are sick patients who are waiting. I will admit that," says Dr. Assaad Sayah, who runs three emergency rooms in the Boston, Massachusetts, area.
In reference to CNN Headline News anchor Glenn Beck's horrific experience at the ER, he offers:
"Beck would've been in a bed in less than two minutes in my hospitals," he says. Waiting times are longer for patients who aren't very sick, but even for them, it's better than it used to be. "The average time from door to physician used to be about an hour. Now it's 21 minutes," Sayah said.
As far as disasters go, that sounds pretty darn prepared.
Assaad Sayah, MD, FACEP, of Canton, is chairman of the department of emergency medicine at Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center. Dr. Sayah has been chairman since 2001 and a member of the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians since 1990.
He has written dozens of community-oriented and peer-reviewed presentations, abstracts, articles, lectures, seminars and book chapters on emergency medicine and disaster preparedness and has presented his research findings locally, nationally and internationally.