Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Praise for Emergency Rooms

I had occasion to depend on both the Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics and the Emergency Room of the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center in Woodland Hills last Friday (February 25).  About 9:30 in the morning I got out of my car and carelessly closed the door on a piece of the tip of my right ring finger.  The piece of flesh remained on the car door and the rest of my finger bled dark blood.  I was able to go into my house and wrap some Kleenex tissue on the wound.  I dialed 911 and asked for help.  In a few minutes the ambulance arrived and the paramedics took me to the emergency room of my choice, the one at the Kaiser facility about three miles away.  By 10:30 an ER doctor had seen the wound, had anesthetized my finger and cleaned the wound, and was installing a gauze bandage.  I won't bother you with the precise structure of the bandage.

Monday (yesterday) I had an appointment with a plastic surgeon at Kaiser.  He looked at the wound and pointed out that it was already starting to heal.  His recommendation, which I accepted gladly, was to continue to let the healing proceed by itself.  He predicted that it would take about four weeks to heal.

My finger will continue to have a gauze bandage for a while.  That's fine with me.  I know it's healing.

This episode in my life illustrates how valuable to me a good hospital emergency room can be.  If I had been unable to obtain medical help for several hours, the wound might have become badly infected and I would have lost most, if not all of the finger.  This ties in with my own belief about government.  I follow the advice of our greatest President, Abe Lincoln, who said that government should do for the people those things that the people can not do for themselves.  Prompt medical attention is one of those things.

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