This week I had potential clients / clients – tell me they waited in a local (Roanoke VA) waiting from for over 5 hours and 7 hours before they saw a nurse.

What can happen in an emergency room as a result of a delay in treatment?
Appendix can Rupture
Heart Attacks can occur (preventable ones)
Strokes can occur
Children can become consumed by infection without care
Patients can become septic

In 5-7 hours sitting in an emergency room waiting room, terrible things can happen.

Have you had to wait at an Emergency room in Southwest Virginia for more than two hours recently? What about at Carilion New River Valley, Stonewall Jackson in Lexington, Roanoke Memorial, Tazewell Community? What about the emergency room wait at Lewis Gale in Salem, or HCA Montgomery Co in Blacksburg?

Is it a staffing issue? Space issue? We have heard stories of people being refused care because they don’t have insurance and cannot pay in national emergency rooms , but delay is another issue.

I read an article published in 2008 that states:
“The median amount of time between registering in the emergency department and being examined by a physician was 22 minutes in 1997, according to an analysis of more than 92,000 medical records in the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. By 2004, the median wait time was 30 minutes, the study says. Whether patients had insurance made no difference in how long they waited to see a doctor.

2004 – 30 minutes.
2009 – 300 minutes?

Are we missing something? What is happening in our local emergency rooms?

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.