Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Waiting for medical treatment

John sends this Houston Chronicle article:
Many men won't drop remote to go to ER till game is over
Study finds lull in hospital visits by men during sports events and a surge afterward

Armchair athletes, in general, aren't considered the healthiest of specimens. But new research shows the problem may be worse than previously thought: Men needing medical treatment tend to wait until the game is over to visit the hospital.

For example, two weeks ago a man arrived at Memorial Hermann Hospital with a grotesquely swollen ankle.

He was watching the Houston Texans on TV and injured himself during halftime. He washed down two Motrin tablets with a beer and watched the rest of the game, foot propped on the coffee table.

"Everyone has their priorities," said Eric Reichman, an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, who treated the man.

The man's ankle was broken in two places, he added.
I broke my ankle during a hockey game last year, and I waited until the game was over. I figured that if I was still unable to walk on it at the end of the game, then I should get an xray. Then I sat in the ER for a couple of hours. That was lucky -- I've heard of others having to wait 6 or more hours in the ER. It turned out that I needed a steel plate in my leg, and I waited another week for the surgeon to install it. He effectively re-broke my fibula to attach the plate properly. The one-hour wait for the end of the hockey game was insignificant.

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