The Brooklyn Heights Association has released the following statement in response to a letter you, like me, may have received recently concerning Fortis Property Group’s plans for an “emergency room” on the LICH site:
Following the announced closing of Long Island College Hospital (“LICH”), residents are confused by a letter they received that is signed by Gary Reilly, Carroll Gardens Assn. board member, bearing the return address “The Campaign for One New York”. In the letter, which he said he “was asked to send by Mayor de Blasio”, Reilly says the LICH site will have a “free-standing, high-quality emergency room”, which, he acknowledges, will not provide “in-patient services like elective surgery and some very specialized forms of care.”
LICH’s buyer, Fortis Property Group, has said it has no plans to open a hospital on the LICH site. Instead, Fortis has said that NYU-Langone, Lutheran Family Services and Lutheran Medical Center will provide ambulatory healthcare services in a new building they will build, with a stand-alone emergency department that has 20 observational beds.
What does “ambulatory health care services” mean? In an effort to prepare Heights residents for what to expect in the absence of a hospital to back up the ER, the BHA asked several doctors formerly associated with LICH to explain specifically what services the stand-alone emergency room – as Fortis has described it – would provide. They said that walk-in non-emergency illnesses and injuries such as sprains, cuts and bruises, flu, sore throats and fever could be treated there. To read Fortis’ description of medical services to be offered at LICH, click here.
When seconds count, we’ll be out of luck. Ambulance/EMT protocol requires technicians to take anyone with serious medical problems, including: acute heart attack or cardiac arrest, acute stroke, most pediatric emergencies, massive gastrointestinal bleed, pulmonary embolism, appendicitis, overwhelming infection leading to acute shock, high-risk pregnancy with bleeding, or other major traumas, including car accidents, to the nearest hospital with the capabilities to treat such conditions. The Fortis ER will not have the capacity to treat such serious medical emergencies.