Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007

Volunteer: Hospital’s plan ‘is a good one’

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I’m not a doctor or a nurse. I am a 30-year volunteer at Suburban Hospital — the last 10 years spent in the emergency room.

I’ve seen all patients carefully triaged and as quickly as possible placed in the care of our committed, skilled ER staff. I’ve known the highs of amazing heart and stroke recoveries. I’ve also felt the lows of end-of-life experiences.

It amazes me that nearby neighbors seem to be so concerned by the closing of a street and the demolition of Suburban Hospital-owned houses. Would a few extra traffic turns to reach their homes make such a great difference if precious minutes saved a life? As for ‘‘tear-downs,” isn’t that being done every day in their neighborhood? The towering rooflines of excessively huge and out of place McMansions are rising everywhere.

I wonder where these residents would rush to if faced with a life-threatening situation (i.e., tornado, pandemic attack or a too-rapid heartbeat).

I would hope they’d choose Suburban, their hospital around the corner, where I and others would do what we do best — provide the very best patient care possible with lots of compassion always a part of the treatment. Suburban’s expansion plan is a good one.

Betty Hayden, Bethesda