"Normal care for someone having a heart attack is being transferred to a hospital with a cardiac catheterization lab. Our county does not have a catheterization lab in it, so all patients needing this procedure to open a blockage must be transferred. Due to capacity restraints it is normal for a patient actively having a heart attack to was two to four DAYS in the emergency department waiting to be transferred.
Heart attack is the easiest to relate to "emergency," having chest pain means call 911, now translates to sit in the ED for a few more days while you slowly loose heart function and hope to not die. Due to EMTALA we cannot tell the patients to go straight to the hospitals that have the cardiologists. They are trapped at smaller outside hospitals."