Semper Paratus: Our Decisions About Emergency Care

Jessie Gruman

First published 4/20/11 on The Prepared Patient Forum 

Nora misjudged the height of the stair outside the restaurant, stepped down too hard, jammed her knee and tore her meniscus.  Not that we knew this at the time.  All we knew then was that she was howling from the pain.

There we were on a dark, empty, wet street in lower Manhattan, not a cab in sight, with a wailing, immobile woman.  What to do?  Call 911? Find a cab to take her home and contact her primary care doctor for advice?  Take her home, put ice on her knee, feed her Advil and call her doctor in the morning?

Sometimes it is clear that the only response to a health crisis is to call 911 and head for the emergency department (ED).  But in this case – and in so many others we encounter with our kids, our parents, our co-workers and on the street – the course of action is less obvious, while the demand for some action is urgent.

Continue reading “Semper Paratus: Our Decisions About Emergency Care”

The Zadroga Health Care Bill


Senate Republicans are blocking a vote on a bill to provide medical coverage for first responders to the 9/11 World Trade Center site. I was not aware of this until I saw the full story on The Daily Show Thursday night.  Along with editorial comment, four first responders were guests, who explained that their healthcare benefits had been discontinued and they were fighting with Workers’ Comp carriers for every dime of health care they received.  You can see the show here:

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The bill has passed the house, and is languishing due to Republican stalling tactics.  They refuse to consider it on the floor because the week between Christmas and New Years is “sacred to them and their families”.

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SHAME on the Republican Senators for withholding action on this bill.  This is NOT and should not be a political matter.  It’s A human matter for Americans who sacrificed. You can find contact information at:

Al Weigand is a health care analyst based in Jacksonville, FL.