"We are a very rural hospital with only family practice and emergency physicians - there are no specialists within 90 miles. We have five inpatient beds and about 10 outpatient rooms. We can handle the volume of patients in our area but because all our referral hospitals are routinely full, getting patients transferred to a higher level of care is a nightmare. We have had patients with heart attacks, kidney failure and infections stuck in our hospital for many hours while we tried to find a cardiologist to treat them.
We called 27 hospitals before one in a different state called us back when a bed finally opened up...She didn't survive.
Recently I had a woman with abdominal pain in the ER. When she arrived she had normal vital signs and was not really very sick. Testing showed that she had an infected gallbladder - a simple problem for any surgeon to treat. We called 27 hospitals before one in a different state called us back when a bed finally opened up. She spent thirty-six hours in our ER, and was in shock being treated with maximum doses of drugs to keep her alive when she was transferred. She didn't survive."