Local health care has limitations

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Dear Editor,

Feb. 13 I became quite ill at home. Sometime around midnight, Charles said we had to go to the ER. Since we live on the far eastern side of Boyle County, we debated about going to the ER at St. Joseph in Nicholasville. Finally, we decided to go to EMRMC. When we arrived, Charles found a nurse who brought a wheelchair for me since I was too weak to walk. He was extremely kind and took me to a room. The staff moved quickly and efficiently to stabilize me.

Then, the staff informed me that I would have to be transported to St. Joseph in Lexington since EMRMC does not have gastroenterological services. That was not in our plans but it was OK. Next, the staff came back to say that they had tried three ambulance services and none would transport me until morning — 6:30 a.m. It was then 2:30 a.m. Charles went home to sleep for a while.

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Around 7 a.m., I was placed in an ambulance bound for St. Joseph in Lexington. One hour later, we were in Nicholasville. The weather had deteriorated in the interim and the roads were icy. We were traveling at 25 miles per hour. After another hour, we arrived at St. Joseph. I watched the EMT turn off the timer. It read 1:57.

We went directly to my room where Charles was waiting for me. He left Danville ten minutes after the ambulance. He crossed from 27 to 68 at the first opportunity. The ambulance went all the way down Nicholasville Road to Waller Avenue. Our daughter had also arrived from Louisville.

I usually would not submit such a personal experience, but people in Danville and Boyle County need to know some of the health care problems that exist here. I knew that the Danville gastroenterologist had moved his practice to Lexington some time ago, but that did not enter my mind until I was told that EMRMC could do no more for me. What they did was good and it was efficient. It just had limitations.

And I learned the hard way that ambulances will not transport you at night unless it is an emergency. Once I was stabilized I was no longer an emergency.

Anne V. Ferguson