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Ambulance diversion tied to higher mortality rates, study finds
Modern Healthcare

There are measurably higher death rates for patients having a heart attack when ambulances have to be diverted from the closest emergency department for at least 12 hours, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers from the University of California San Francisco and the Naval Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, Monterey, Calif., analyzed records from 149 emergency departments for 13,860 Medicare patients for four densely populated California counties between 2000 and 2005 and compared mortality rates for times ambulances went to the nearest hospital and for when the nearest hospital’s emergency room was too busy and ambulances were diverted elsewhere.