Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I.D. in the ER

Of interest because of the quote from Ms. Williams in Duquoin, one of our affiliated facilities. From the Southern Illinoisan:

An unidentified cyclist was taken to Memorial Hospital of Carbondale one afternoon last week after he was sideswiped by a dump truck on U.S. 51 near Makanda.

Jackson County sheriff's deputies said the man had received a serious head injury when he was knocked from his bicycle. The collision occurred at about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, but the man, who was unable to communicate with emergency personnel, was not carrying any identification.

He was not identified until about 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

The incident is a real-life example of the hypothetical cases marched out by law enforcement officials and medical workers for years.

Susan Williams, a registered nurse in the emergency room at Marshall Browning Hospital in Du Quoin, said emergency room workers are accustomed to dealing with unidentified patients in emergency situations. At Marshall Browning in particular, she said, patients attending events at the nearby state fairground may come in with no identification and with no known friends or relatives nearby.

"Usually we're flying by the seat of our pants in (cases where there is no way to identify the patient)," she said.


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