Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Hospitals in L.A. County could absorb some patients if King-Harbor closes

LOS ANGELES Hospitals in Los Angeles County could absorb patients from Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital if the facility closed, but only if more emergency room and critical care beds were added nearby, according to a report released Monday.

The Hospital Assn. of Southern California measured the emergency capacity near King-Harbor and determined that an additional 20 emergency room beds and four critical care beds were needed at hospitals within a 3-mile radius of the facility in Willowbrook, south of Watts. The association issued its report after last week's release of the county's contingency plans in case the public hospital is closed.

"We can make the county's plan work if everyone acknowledges that the capacity needs to increase," said Jim Lott, the association's executive vice president.

Dr. Bruce Chernof, county director of health services, said in the contingency plan that closing King-Harbor would have "an adverse impact on the [emergency care] system and on this medically underserved community."

Lott agreed. He said that even with the extra beds, patients could face delays in getting to hospitals. He noted that if King-Harbor were shut immediately, the county plans to send ambulances to different hospitals on a rotating basis.

"That means that an ambulance will bypass a hospital that is open only because it took the last patient," Lott said. "It will increase waiting times and treatment times."

The number of emergency room visits to be absorbed is less than first thought, Lott said. The report found that since the downsizing of King-Harbor last year, the number of emergency room visits to the facility is expected to fall from 47,000 in 2006 to 25,000 this year.

But Lott cautioned that the county cannot plan for whether walk-in emergency patients near King-Harbor would travel on their own to other hospitals or whether specialized emergency physicians at those hospitals would be willing to treat an influx of indigent patients.

If not, local hospitals could find it difficult to give the type of care that emergency rooms must provide, he said.

RELATED ARTICLES

FERNO's New 'Proof of Concept' Ambulance has the EMS Industry Talking

You'll hear a lot more about this innovative new ambulance interior, so I will just highlight what its most impressive offerings are to me: Interchangable, c...

Washington State Signs Community Paramedicine Bill into Law

With a lot of passion and perseverance, it’s possible to change the history of EMS.

Firefighters Rescue Man Who Wedged Inside Wall to Evade Cops

A central Indiana man who hid inside a wall in his home to avoid arrest had to berescued by firefighters after he became wedged next to its chimney for ...

17 Patients Evaluated After Plane Makes Emergency Landing

SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow said new information from medical personnel confirmed that "a total of three passengers reported a loss of consciousnes...

Nurse Practitioner Now Responding to EMS Calls with Green Valley Fire

The district has started a first of its kind program that brings urgent medical care right into a patient's home.

New WTC Study Focuses on EMS Personnel

New research shows that EMS workers who went to Ground Zero suffer from poor health.

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers