East Dallasites' tolerance for driving more than 8 blocks to get to an emergency room has waned in recent years, and it may have saved one contractor's life.
Claude Hammer, a contractor working on Lakewood Heights ER, fell while inspecting the roof and was punctured by exposed rebar on the ground. Although the rebar missed any vital organs, Hammer was bleeding profusely.
Hammer's coworker drove him to the nearest emergency room, Glencoe Park Emergency Room, another free-standing ER in the area, which was 0.63 miles away. Unfortunately, there were 18 people in the waiting room with flu-like symptoms who thought they were at an urgent care facility, so the wait was too long and Hammer had to look for other options.
The bleeding contractor was driven to Lower Greenville Emergency Room (LGER), 0.71 miles away, where he was admitted.
"It was nice to treat someone with an actual emergency for once," said Stacey Close, the physician at LGER. "Usually it is just misinformed families looking for some antibiotics, and we run CT scans on them to make our quota and pay the bills. But Mr. Hammer was on the edge of death."
LGER was not equipped to deal with the severity of the injuries, and Hammer was ferried in an LGER ambulance to an actual emergency room at Baylor Hospital.
"I sure am glad there is such an abundance of ERs in this neighborhood," Hammer said. "If I were in a neighborhood with a reasonable number of emergency rooms, I might have bled out."