Cape Breton doctor says some patients risking health by avoiding ER | CBC News


A Cape Breton physician says some sufferers are placing their well being in danger by avoiding the emergency division in Sydney, N.S., as a result of they’re fearful about lengthy wait occasions and publicity to individuals with contagious sicknesses.

Dr. Joan Salah, who works on the pressing remedy centre in North Sydney, stated she informed one affected person who not too long ago visited the centre due to chest pains to go to the hospital. He was positioned on a stretcher and paramedics have been able to make the 20-minute drive to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. However Salah stated he refused to go.

The affected person was informed that he would possibly die if he returned dwelling “and he made that alternative moderately than go to the emergency division, which, whenever you’re the paramedics and the doctor standing there making an attempt to persuade him that his signs are value being assessed within the emergency division, that may really feel scary,” Salah informed Data Morning Cape Breton.

The affected person didn’t go to the hospital by ambulance and Salah stated she does not know what occurred to him.

Overwhelming majority search applicable care

In one other case, a person with chest pains went to the ER however left as a result of the wait was too lengthy. He then waited a couple of days to go to the pressing remedy centre, the place they have been unable to diagnose the issue as a result of delay, she stated.

The overwhelming majority of sufferers on the pressing remedy centre are searching for applicable well being care for his or her signs, Salah stated, however others are more and more exhibiting up when they need to be going elsewhere.

“What I am seeing now could be that persons are staying at dwelling, form of ready till it is unhealthy sufficient to be value that lengthy wait. And for some individuals, possibly that is affordable to attend a bit longer and see if they are going to get higher on their very own,” she stated. “However for some individuals, that is not a very useful approach of deciding whether or not or to not go to the emergency division.”

Dr. Joan Salah says sufferers aren’t responsible for avoiding overcrowded, understaffed emergency departments, however they might face hurt and even loss of life if they do not get correct care. (Tom Ayers/CBC)

The Nova Scotia authorities has stated it’s taking steps to enhance the circulate of sufferers in beleaguered emergency departments across the province.

However individuals want to understand that pressing remedy centres are usually not set as much as diagnose or deal with critical well being points and that regardless of the lengthy wait, emergency departments have the employees and tools to do this, stated Salah.

The centres are meant to alleviate a few of the strain on ERs by providing non-life-threatening care for issues like delicate pains, minor infections, easy fractures and aches and cuts, however the physician stated some individuals are actually making an attempt to recreation the system. 

“Sufferers will misrepresent what they’ve in order that they will get in, after which once they are available say, ‘Oh, and by the way in which, I am having chest ache,’ and that is to allow them to get their foot in that door with out being informed to go to the emergency division,” Salah stated. “I’ve had that occur two or 3 times.”

However the physician does not blame sufferers.

“This isn’t a criticism of that behaviour,” she stated. “The issue is the lengthy waits and overcrowding that is within the emergency division. However then when persons are making these troublesome selections in these circumstances, typically these troublesome selections can have actually harmful outcomes.”

Regardless that emergency departments are overcrowded and understaffed, individuals nonetheless have to go there for critical well being points, Salah stated.

“I completely do assume they’ll get the care that they want.

“I do assume that sadly individuals should be their very own advocate. So in case you’re in a crowded emergency division and you’re feeling like issues have modified or that you’ve fallen by the cracks, or that your signs are progressing, I might encourage individuals to inform any individual about that.”

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