Thursday, December 4, 2008

A vital message from Lancaster General Hospital

Most deaths from drug overdoses are readily preventable if an ambulance is immediately summoned or the person rushed to a hospital emergency room.

However this often doesn't happen, because young people (and also adults) witnessing the event are afraid to become involved lest they expose themselves to criticism and possible prosecution.

Hospitals in cooperation with law enforcement authorities in many parts of the country have adopted what is called a "Good Samaritan" policy, whereby the identities of those calling an ambulance or dropping off a patient remain anonymous.

In response to its inquiry, NewsLanc received the following assurance from a spokesperson for Lancaster General Hospital:

"We have verified through our Emergency Medicine management that Lancaster General does not ask anyone who brings an overdose patient to the Emergency Department to identify themselves, as we want to encourage people to continue to bring people in for treatment who may be at risk of harm."

An overdose can be reversed in less than a minute with emergency care. Without the care, the person is likely to die. Moreover, the tragedy won't just be limited to the deceased and his or her loved ones. Everyone present will feel the guilt for the rest of their lives.

Anyone can find themselves involved in such a situation. Please share this message with your loved ones and others.