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A night in the ER

At Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, hundreds of patients pass through the emergency room each day.  “It’s like a battlefield in here.… It just doesn’t stop,” says a nurse supervisor.

This is the county’s safety-net hospital, the place where the ill come for medicine, the wounded come for help, and the dying come for miracles. As many as 550 patients a day come through its emergency room, one of the busiest in the nation.

They wait an average of four hours to see a doctor — and then longer for further evaluation, treatment or an open bed.

The total wait from the time a patient arrives until he or she is admitted or discharged has averaged nine hours recently.

Read Anna Gorman’s article: A night in the ER: adrenaline, chaos and very long waits


  1. October 1, 2011, 5:49 am

    As someone who is now a filmmaker/photographer/writer and knows the power of the visual with audio, I must say this is beyond amazing, powerful, and eye-opening. I also used to work in admitting in a much smaller regional hosptial and on the ICU floor as a Unit Secretary/CNA/Cardiac Heart Monitor. I understand these images in a uniquely personal way for that as well as knowing one of the doctors whose image you captured. Thank you for sharing your view of day in the life and for showing the compassion and humanity that lies within the ER. It can be quite hectic but you have captured moments in seconds of time that will stay with us forever. Sara Silverstein

    By: Sara Silvrstein
  2. October 2, 2011, 8:36 am

    wow, they really are heros! being a nurse myself i really feel this! what a powerful story!

    By: bbbbbbbb

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