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Investing in paramedics will increase survival rate

In recent weeks, much concern has been expressed as to the adverse impact of the proposed closing of the Lake Shore Hospital emergency room. The most frequent argument is that lives will be lost, because ambulances will have to transport patients to more-distant hospitals.

I feel that the value of the Lake Shore ER has been exaggerated. The emphasis should be on providing immediate, on-scene, advanced life support services in the area. Prehospital care, by professional paramedics, is likely to save more lives than an ER usually staffed by one physician.

The mindset seems to be that the closest hospital is the best for life-threatening medical situations. In severe trauma cases, patients are routinely transported directly to more-distant trauma centers, and the same concept is being increasingly utilized for stroke and certain cardiac cases.

While hospital transport times will be increased in many cases by the closing of the Lake Shore ER, this will not necessarily result in a poorer survival rate.

David R. Markus

Depew