How neighborhood ER closures affect patients by Science Today published on 2014/08/15 22:34:10 +0000 A new study has quantified the impact of neighborhood emergency room closures and found that patients in areas affected were 5% more likely to die after being admitted to a hospital than were patients who didn’t lose a neighborhood ER. Study co-author Renee Hsai of the University of California, San Francisco explains that closures lead to overcrowding, traveling farther and longer waits. "So, certain things that come to the ER, for example, say you have a laceration or a broken wrist. Those things are important and we want to see you quickly, but the management may not change as much if you get it 30 minutes down the road or two hours down the road. 252 Heart attacks are one of those conditions where it really does matter, time is really critical." In their study, heart attack patients in regions that lost an ER were 15% more likely to die in the hospital. "There are negative outcomes on patients; not just in terms of subjective experience like I’m impatient, but actually patients do worse. And so we’re trying to provide more information for policymakers to realizes that it does matter."