Press-Republican

In My Opinion

May 10, 2013

In My Opinion: Civil discussion of AMC plan needed

As revenues to Adirondack Health diminish from improved outpatient services and decreasing insurance reimbursement, the cost of the low-census Lake Placid Emergency Department may not be justified.

Recently, Adirondack Health presented the case for converting the Lake Placid Emergency Department to an urgent-care center with anticipated $950,000 annual savings.

 I wish to comment on several points raised at the May 1 meeting.

The financial wisdom of creating a wound center was raised. Implied was that had Adirondack Health not embarked on this project, there would be sufficient funds for the Lake Placid Emergency Department.

There had been a clinical need for such a center, given a high incidence of wounds and the inability of practitioners to devote the time required to care for them appropriately.

The board had decided to invest resources in the center after financial analysis, which had accurately predicted the center would generate revenue. The wound center was a sound clinical and financial decision.

It was stated that trauma patients should not be transported to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake but rather to Fletcher Allen Health Care or to CVPH Medical Center.

As an instructor of Advanced Trauma Life Support and a surgeon who has managed trauma at AMC and CVPH, I need to correct this misconception. A basic principle of trauma care is to render appropriate care as rapidly as possible. Most trauma patients are best served by transport to AMC in Saranac Lake staffed by qualified surgeons.

It is the responsibility of the Emergency Department staff and surgeon to determine if a patient should be treated locally or if the injuries demand a Level I trauma center, such as Fletcher Allen.

The decision to transfer is based on internationally accepted guidelines. Examples of injuries best treated at AMC are splenic injuries or penetrating trauma, where delay could be fatal. Over the years, AMC has successfully managed some highly complex trauma cases.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
In My Opinion
  • In My Opinion Follow Vt. lead on prescription drugs

    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin recently called attention to a national crisis when he dedicated his entire State of the State message to address what he called Vermont's "full-blown heroin crisis," writes John Coppola of New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers Inc.

    March 12, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Rail companies must take action

    I write to commend emergency response officials in Essex County for taking a proactive approach to the increasing number of freight trains carrying crude oil through our communities on the Canadian Pacific line, as described in the Feb, 23 article, "Essex County developing disaster-response plans as rail traffic grows," writes Rep. Bill Owens.

    March 4, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Communal energy conservation urged

    Recently, several articles appeared in the Press-Republican about the City of Plattsburgh's electric rates and energy policies, writes SUNY Plattsburgh assistant professor Curt Gervich.

    March 3, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Support gave boost to broadcasting

    As many of you know, this is my 40th and final year of broadcasting Plattsburgh State Cardinal Hockey, writes WIRY broadcaster Ducky Drake.

    February 20, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Prison closures will increase danger

    In January, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision released its annual report on the state of New York's prisons, writes NYSCOPBA President Donn Rowe.

    February 18, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Everyone must commit to end smoking

    Smoking-related illnesses will cause 5.6 million children alive today to die prematurely unless smoking rates drop, the latest Surgeon General's Report says, write no-smoking advocates Glenn Pareira and Kendra Gertsch.

    February 12, 2014

  • In My Opinion: The right approach to youth sports

    Another youth basketball season is upon us, writes Town of Ellenburg Youth Director Chris Brooks. Local counties do a great job of organizing these leagues for our children to be able to participate and learn skills at a young age.

    January 8, 2014

  • In My Opinion: Fair evacuation plan needs review

    A year has come and gone with another great professional job done by our Clinton County Fair management, putting on its best yet entertainment.

    January 7, 2014

  • In My Opinion: New care models for aging population

    Our communities are experiencing a growing percentage of older residents, who are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to health-care decisions, according to the administrators of local nursing homes.

    December 24, 2013

  • In My Opinion: Respect diversity of gender November is Transgender Awareness Month across the United States -- a time to celebrate the diversity of gender that many Americans, and especially many New Yorkers, share.

    November 25, 2013