emergency care

Jake Harper/Side Effects

On a cold morning last winter, Christopher Hinds says he woke up early, sick from withdrawal. He called a friend and they trekked across a highway, walking for more than two miles through the snow on a street without sidewalks to buy heroin. 

“You don’t think about nothing but getting it when you’re sick like that,” he says. 

Anthem Asks Missourians To Think Twice Before Going To The Emergency Room

Jul 13, 2017
https://vimeo.com/tag:emergency+room

The nation’s second-largest insurer has stopped reimbursing emergency room visits it deems unnecessary in a handful of states.

Joe Loong/via Flickr

Doctors say when it comes to trauma, bleeding out is the most preventable cause of death – and it typically happens before patients even make it to the hospital. With a rise in multiple-casualty events like the recent shootings in Washington and Houston and stabbings in Minnesota, one program aims to change the role of bystanders.


He thought it was pneumonia. Michael Trost, 52 and seemingly healthy, just wasn’t feeling right. During a chance break at work as a wood finisher, Trost’s wife brought him to an emergency room near where they live at the edge of the Poconos in Dingmans Ferry, Pa.

“They’ll give me a chest x-ray and antibiotics and I’ll be on my way,” Trost thought.

A Bullet, A President And An ER

Apr 15, 2015

Many historians have debated how our country might be different today if Lincoln had lived to see the country through the critical Reconstruction period that followed the Civil War. In the debut story from the podcast Sick, our reporter Jake Harper asks a different question: if he’d been given modern medical treatment, could Lincoln’s life have been saved? 

Listen to find out.

At the Cleveland Clinic's sprawling main campus, Morgan Clay is being discharged early one Tuesday afternoon.

Clay arrived a couple of weeks earlier suffering from complications related to acute heart failure. He's ready to go home. But before he can leave, clinic pharmacist Katie Greenlee stops by the room.

"What questions can I answer for you about the medicines?" Greenlee asks as she presents a folder of information about more than a dozen prescriptions Clay takes.

"I don't have too many questions," Clay says. "I've been on most of that stuff for a long time."

More than a dozen hospitals across Great Britain declared "major incidents" this past week, with non-emergency operations cancelled and extra staff called in to cope with overcrowded emergency rooms. Still, the backlog in waiting rooms keeps growing.

The horror stories just keep coming in: long lines outside emergency departments — just to get into the waiting room — and of hospitals locking their doors to keep new arrivals away.

Lights flash, a siren wails and an ambulance races to help a person whose heart has stopped beating.

In most cases, a 911 dispatcher will have sent an advanced life support, or ALS, ambulance to the scene, equipped with sophisticated gear and staffed with a crew of highly trained paramedics who can deliver specialized care in the field, including intubations and IV interventions.

Unfortunately, according to a new study by health policy researchers at Harvard, those advanced techniques actually increase the patient’s risk of death.

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in October 2012, millions were affected by blackouts, empty gas stations and damaged homes. And, in addition to those losses, patients who require regular medical maintenance, like those who need frequent dialysis, were left in a bind.

Within hours of Superstorm Sandy slamming the East Coast two years ago, Americans opened their wallets to help — donating millions to the first charity that came to mind: the American Red Cross.

President Obama, like most elected officials and celebrities, vouched for the organization, encouraging people to give.