Regarding the letter, “Harborview is my first choice”: I noticed that “M.D.” didn’t follow the writer’s name. Perhaps she should spend some time asking questions directly of the people who make these decisions every day, many of whom do have an “M.D.” degree.
Harborview is a great hospital, and the majority of paramedics in Snohomish County were trained there, worked in the emergency department there, and feel no small amount of allegiance to the institution there. With that in mind, understand that Harborview teaches its paramedic students, nursing students and doctors in training the same thing: Always make your choices in the best interest of the patients.
The concern of “all residents of Snohomish County” should not be to interject their non-medical opinion into the decision tree that determines where they will get the best care in the event of an emergency. That decision is best left to the professionals who make these decisions every single day and have the expertise, experience and knowledge of the medical system in place all around us. The suggestion that having two (or more) rated destinations for major trauma patients is excessive exposes the writer’s ignorance. Does she think Harborview, or any other hospital for that matter, should not have some of its services duplicated elsewhere, to the benefit of the entire region? Of course it should.
In the MPHS shooting, those students received the best care available anywhere in the world. They received care from expert EMS professionals, emergency room doctors (many of whom also work at Harborview), and surgeons, nursing and support staff, all of whom are credentialed and experienced in the same way the staff at Harborview is.
So unless the writer wishes to don a gown and start to do rounds in these facilities, I suggest she leave the emergency response planning to the professionals and stop second guessing at an issue of which she clearly has no knowledge.
There’s no need to keep that card in your wallet. We will still intervene in your emergency and make the best choice for you and your life based on the circumstances of the moment.
David De Marco