At this point, it’s a staple of our culture, and we could hardly live without one: the emergency room. But they weren’t always around! In fact, emergency rooms are barely older than 100 years. That’s right. The first emergency room wasn’t opened until 1911, in Louisville, Kentucky. The trauma center was located at the University of Louisville Hospital, and became the standard for emergency rooms as we know them today. Though there were precursors to this first center, the Louisville location was what led to the rise of many emergency rooms around the United States.
These trauma centers were designed to help patients in need of care immediately, which often applied (and applies) to heart attacks, broken bones and more. Many patients suffering from breathing difficulties will make their way to emergency centers, as that can obviously become a fatal issue quickly.
As time went on, and medicine became modernized, emergency care became a bigger priority. By the time of the 1960s, emergency rooms were common across the United States, and many began providing 24 hour emergency care, seven days a week.
Though a visit to the emergency room usually means an immediate medical emergency, many can also provide advanced diagnostic and laboratory services in addition, meaning they’ll be able to ideally catch any other major issues that might be going on in your body.
The implementation of these advanced diagnostic and laboratory services are one of the many features that hospitals have pushed forward to better their emergency services. As time went on, emergency medicine became a bigger and bigger deal, which I’m sure can be explained by a variety of reasons, but I’ll leave that complicated issue to the real experts.
In modern years, the cost of healthcare in the United States has risen sharply, and we’re quickly entering a crisis in medicine. Costs are unsustainable, and corruption in the insurance industry is quite rampant. It’s a problem that’s going to have to be sorted out one way or another, because one that that’s for sure is that people aren’t going to stop getting hurt and sick.
Now that emergency rooms are a staple of our society, it’s hard to picture life without them. Though the system has developed a number of kinks that have to be worked out, there’s no question that the system has saved countless lives. We know we can do better as a society, though.
Do you have any experiences from the emergency room you’d like to share? Received any advanced diagnostic and laboratory services during your stay? Please share your experiences below, and stay happy and healthy!