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Home » The ER house call for the 21st century: Phil Mitchell at TEDxMileHigh (Transcript)

The ER house call for the 21st century: Phil Mitchell at TEDxMileHigh (Transcript)

Phil Mitchell – TRANSCRIPT

Walter is 72, has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and mild dementia. He lives at home with his wife Betty. Walter’s been healthy in general, but has had a gradual decline and now needs some help with bathing and getting dressed. He picked up a GI illness and had pretty significant vomiting and diarrhea. When he couldn’t keep down any liquids, he became very dehydrated. He got up to go to the bathroom, felt weak and dizzy, and fell to the ground. Because the skin on his arms was so thin, he suffered from large skin tears on both of his forearms.

He was able to crawl back into bed, but Betty was concerned so she called 911, an ambulance arrived at their home, and Walter was taken to the ER where over the next six hours he had multiple blood tests, scans, and although they couldn’t find anything specifically wrong with him he was admitted to the hospital for observation.

Over the next two days, he started to improve but became more confused due to being in the new environment of the hospital, and he was still too weak to go home. Ultimately he was admitted to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. So after a trip to the ER, a few days in the hospital ward, even more in a rehabilitation center, Walter finally made it back home ten days later. Ten days, and with several thousand dollars worth of hospital bills.

While your name may not be Walter, chances are one part of this story would be true for a lot of us. We feel that there’s something seriously wrong with our health, we call 911 and go to the ER. The ER is a place where patients have immediate access to life-saving care. From the moment 911 picks up your call, an elaborate system of care is set into motion. This hospital-based system uses robust emergency medical services to help patients that might be seriously injured or critically ill.

There are trained physicians, certified emergency nurses, critical care technicians, access to trauma surgeons, and other specialty physicians. It’s where you go when your throat closes from an allergic reaction and you can’t breathe, or when you fear that there may be internal bleeding from a bad accident, or a head injury. The ER offers expert care when it comes to these emergency situations.

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