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Talk » Neighborhoods » Discussing 'Dont die waiting in ER. Best ER hospitals in NYC?'

Dont die waiting in ER. Best ER hospitals in NYC?


There was an article on CNN about crowded ER's.

Just curious, any one have any experience the best/worse ER's to go to in NYC? If you could choose, which one?

For example, the new york downtown hospital behind J&R in my opinion is one of the worst. Chock full of illegal immigrants and the worst service.

ER don't like to advertise their waiting times. But St. Luke's Roosevelt at 59th Street is very very good. Mt Sinai, not so good.

A good ER is one that triages properly -- that might mean that you and your boo-boo wait for 20 hours while more serious emergencies get handled. They're not luxury spas (although ERs have more attractive decor than spas, so it can be confusing).

A crowded ER waiting room is no indication that it's a bad ER, just that it's a busy one.

A pleasant, smaller hospital like Lenox Hill is less likely to have staff on hand with experience as broad and deep as what a huge "inner-city" teaching hospital will have.

If you have a serious emergency, illegal aliens and concierge service will be the last thing on your mind.

Duane Reade's walk-in clinic has short wait times. Go there. Just not the LIC Superfund location.

it ain't NY Methodist in Park Slope from my personal experience.

From personal experience (a lot of it, unfortunately), I agree with both of jas's assessments - especially regarding St.Luke's-Roosevelt. Alan is right, though: don't go there with a sprained ankle, because their triage is ruthless.

best in our opinion is New York/Cornell on East 68th and the river. They have dedicated Pediatric (which we have had to use) and adult ER's. All experiences have been great with minimal to no wait time

The Mt. Sinai emergency room is excellent is you have an emergency. They saved my father and they saved me. But if your particular problem is not high on the triage priority list you will wait a long time. You're better off going to one of the walk-in clinics. NYU and Beth Israel seem to be opening them all over Manhattan.

We have had good ER experiences at Roosevelt, Weill Cornell/Presbyterian and Long Island Jewish. (If you live in Queens, you already know there are no good hospitals in that borough and one must go to Nassau or Manhattan.)

It helps if your doctor is an attending physician at the hospital where you go to the emergency room.

Actually your question is very difficult to answer. Patients always focus on wait time, appearance,(I won't mention illegals), staff that spend time with them and so on. If your problem is benign and not really urgent (migraine, sinusitis twisted ankle..) any upper class neighborhood ER will do (lenox, presbyterian).
If it's a life threatening condition the "best" are those who do BIG volumes.For a gun shot wound ur more likely to make it in the Bronx or Brooklyn than Lenox Hill.
If u can, avoid ER completely (65% of ER visits do not require an ER visit).

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Serious EYE BALL problems: New York Eye & Ear (only night time ER with Eye Doc standing by)

Doesn't it depend on the problem?

Let's break it down by category and where you live (remember I'm UWS):
1) Kids - asthma type issues - Columbia
2) Kids - falling down on face requiring stitches & good plastic surgeon - I've heard Lenox Hill
3) Pregnant woman - about to give birth, preterm - Columbia or Mt. Sinai
4) Heart attack - I've heard Lenox Hill
5) Mysterious unexplained chronic pain - ?

mysterious unexplained chronic pain:
Any project in the Bronx/Brooklyn will have good chemical handlers.Cash only though, no insurance accepted

Princeton-Plainsboro, ask for #13.

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Upper West Side:

A whole new way to think about emergency care. Experienced,caring ER doctors and no wait.

Nshipley: Looks interesting. Any relation?

NICU, top cardiac docs, top plastic surgeon for repairs...

Had a kid treated for asthma at St. Luke's on Amsterdam. Okay medical care but filthy ward. nshipley - haven't clicked through - do those docs have access to CAT scan/MRIs/ventilators? That would be my reason for going to a big hosp.

Great responses everyone, useful info incase the kids ever need to go to ER on day for a real emergency.

yes falco, i had a metal splinter removed from an eyeball with a needle and tweezers middle of the night at manh eye and ear--i was very glad it was an eye guy doing the work--eye/ear issues--go there

also important that the er you take a child to has a pediatric er specialist on duty 24/7--some do some dont--outcomes for seriously injured chidren much better at er's that do

jas: true that SLR is fast. But they're a smaller hosp, don't have pediatric ward.

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Westie: My husband. 20 years practicing emergency medicine...People seem very happy that it's here...

St. Vincent's.

been there..born there in emergency of sorts

my grandfather died there

tragic it was closed--had been around since the mid-1900's, a valuable grch vill institution

important place in the hisory of medicine in nyc, incl early understanding and treatment of aids

gonzo--cost cutted

typo----mid 1800's

I worked there big bottom

In the last year execs made out 2mil in bonuses and "retreats". what a shame. a disgrace

That's an easy one - The Jake - Jacobi Hospital, Pelham Parkway, The Bronx

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ar: i for a long time wondered about that. I spent a long time being a very good radiologist. Making decent money (1M). then I got sick I decided to get rich so I wouldn't have to work too much: i did. now work little. but traders bring nothing to society. doctors really do. go figure.
speculate if u can. and lose your soul.sad.

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New York Hospital killed Andy Warhol. I was born there. Two strikes against it.

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and madison ave "hospital"--right across from the carlyle--bobby short before surgery please---sunny in for a procedure, while klaus covorts with hookers in his nearby suite--ah the good old days

don't traders provide needed liquidity for our beneficial capital markets?? hahhahahahaha

i can be selfdefecating, on occasion

you guys are that old?

As a customer I feel I can tentatively make the following comment about dying in the ER. There is an urgent care center inside Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.It's great for memorial patients. But very scary inside. Death there is very common. If you can, avoid it.

the er at lennox hill is terrible, it's like a different planet than the rest of the hospital.

lucillemissSE, kindly elaborate.

i've only been there once, my bf, who later became mr. lucille, was having some kind of allergic reaction. he woke up in the middle of the night screaming that his eyes were burning like acid, he couldn't open them. he was freaking out, and this is a tough guy who never loses it. so we go to lh er, there is one person ahead of us, a homeless guy there for the warmth i guess. we waited for almost an hour. and this is with me badgering the nurse and my husband running around the hall like a headless chicken, visibly and audibly suffering. so they finally admit us. the thing looks like a dungeon, with beds in the hallways (he was put in pass through hallway type room with boxes of stuff, like a storage hall or something). i can't remember how many people down there spoke to us, asked him the same questions over and over, while the poor thing is like shaking from pain. finally, after all that they put him a closet, with a saline drip. we sat there for a little while, he got a little better and we got the hell out of there. we still don't know what it was, this was at his old apartment which did have a little bit of a bug problem and he had passed out on the couch, so maybe he got bitten? no clue. hasn't happened again.

it's what i imagine public hospitals in the soviet union looked like. except of course, those shitholes are free, and this shithole is not.

OK, here's my ER horror story:

Several years ago I called an ambulance because of abdominal pain (I couldn't even SIT up, let alone stand up) and intense nausea (I'd already voided everything ... now it was just agonizing dry heaves that wouldn't stop).

I was living in Brooklyn Heights at the time, so they rushed me to Long Island College Hospital.

They kept me in the ER for 17 hours. No one knew what was wrong. I laid on the bed through three full shifts of doctors and nurses. When the admitting nurse came back the next day and saw me still lying there, he finally grabbed a doctor and insisted he do something.

By now I *knew* it was my appendix, but for some reason they refused to do a CAT scan, instead running more tests on my blood (which were inconclusive).

Now, during THIS exam, I *lied* and said my right side was hurting. (Actually, it wasn't a sharp, localized pain normally associated with appendicitis, but rather a generalized pain.) He said "Hmm, maybe we should do a CAT scan."


Surprise, surprise ... they found it was my appendix ... on the verge of bursting. They rushed me into the next available surgery.

My appendix burst on the operating table.

It could have burst at any time during those 17 hours while I faded in and out of consciousness, and no one would have ever known. I could have died right there IN THE HOSPITAL, IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM.

So ... learn from my ordeal: Appendicitis symptoms are not always the classic pain in the right side. It could be a generalized pain all over the abdomen. It could be a backache. There might not even be any pain, just extreme nausea.

in some the appendix is actually on the left side--cant tell without scan

one thing, i mistyped, we didn't wait for almost an hour, but over an hour, closer to 2 hours. it might sound like we were entitled jerks, but you really had to be there. the eyes are tricky, people are more sensitive about eyes than other parts, he could have been going blind right then and there and no one gave a crap. i guess that was the most offensive. bad facilities are one thing, but being in a hospital for so long surrounded by medics, and being allowed to literally scream from pain for hours and being ignored. no one would help us. lennox hill er, you are on my shit list.


That kind of happened to a girlfriend of mine (and no, she is not mrs truthskr :) ) after she fell asleep on a fairly new IKEA futon. It never happened again also.

lucille (missing last sentence to above post)
Was the couch he passed out on from Ikea or fairly new or both?

They will always tell you that "the appendix was about to burst" - dramatic embellishment.
Death in the ER - a fate worae than a pied a terre in your building.

"the appendix was about to burst" = It took me all night to pass a 'stone'

Alan, go stick your finger in a socket.

"in some the appendix is actually on the left side--cant tell without scan"

Mine was in my back.


tee em eye


it wasn't. it was a pos that's older than me that he got on craigslist, in the good old days before bedbugs. it was leather, so don't be too disgusted. what did your gf/her doctor think it was?

They had no idea, just an allergic reaction to something.
THe couch was 1 week old. It appeared to be the biggest culprit.

that's right! they didn't even give him an antihistamine, i started feeding him benadryl that i brought from home after the first hour of being ignored. the whole experience was very not good. but it did teach us both to be more self reliant when it comes to some aspects of medicine, like looking up symptoms online and books and more or less self diagnosing (which we've been lucky enough to be able to do, being relatively healthy).

The best way to get help is to call 911 and go by mother was visiting and had slight pains in her chest, she wanted to walk over to the hospital but I called and the emt told us that she would never see a doctor quickly when you walk in..they took her to the examining rooms and sure enough she was having a heart attach (mild) but they worked on her immediately.

Indeed, since Google and House, Ive been self diagnosing for at least 5 years. :)

I used to to be so dismissive of alterations to our food and these strange food allergies that seem to be of epidemic proportions, until it hit me! I pretty much cannot eat bread anymore, and I love bread.

Self diagnosed GERD, with a couple occasions on the verge of going to the emergency room in the middle of the night. Since Ive basically cut out bread out of my diet and don't eat 4 hours before sleeping, virtually gone.


MMmmm I wonder if the parent of the child (in the article) had called an ambulance instead of walking in.. what would have happened?
- ambulance staff refuse the patient as it looked like just a fever?
- if it was just a fever, the insurance would def not cover the ambulance. Wonder how much you'd be billed for the ambulance
- the ambulance staff would prob just drop you off at the waiting area?, same as walk in.

Then, according to some SE posters,
- hordes of ambulance-chasing lawyers help parent of the child (in the article) cash in for big big bucks.

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Dermatologist: I happen to be the finest dermatologist in this city!
Mother: Well, if acne breaks out, we'll let you know.

Harry Fishbine: This is STILL the United States of America, god damn it! Los Angeles, California! Land of the free, home of the...
Mother: Rams and the Dodgers!

Mother, Jugs & Speed quotes

Here's my ER story:
The year is 1985 and young falco is training on the night shift ER in Allentown PA.
An ambulance brings in a couple on a gurney 'coupled' together.
Short story...Prince Albert ring caught on a partially dislodged IUD.
The rest was like a sketch comedy from the blue version of I Love Lucy.
I remember asking the attending what he was going to do. He answered, "how the hell should I know"?

I'll bet the best ER for that was St. Vincents

thank you falcogold, you are my one piece of new knowledge for the day. never knew that's called a prince albert. huh.

also, didn't know wiki allowed such striking imagery

I've been to the ER twice in the last couple months for things that were not life-threatening, meaning I was at the bottom of the triage list. One was for a serious burn that covered a hand and the other was a wound that required suturing. Beth Israel ER late at night (~11pm) was about a 5 hour wait, and there were others who had other more serious injuries waiting hours with me. Also, BI had some rowdy characters there at night who were allowed to run rampant given the short staff at that hour. It was not a very good experience. NYU Medical ER on 1st and 33rd at 12:30pm was also a really long wait (~4 hours) for a suture. I was referred there from my primary doctor but that didn't speed my wait at all. There were a lot of more serious injuries at that time for some reason, relegating me to the back of the list. They even ran out of beds and wheelchairs to put people in, so they sat me in an operating chair for a couple hours while I waited. I would say it was not the greatest or most comfortable environment, but it was better than my experience at BI.

Get a complete list of ER avg wait times in the NYC area

NYC ER Wait Times

depends on if your priorities are time or if you want good quality of care. Cornell-Weill branch of NY Presbyrterian is very good and nationally ranked, but the wait times are atrocious. Also, getting to a hospital that's far away might take more time than going to the one that's closest. Generally people go to the hospitals that are most convenient or closest to them. Each neighborhood has a different hospital. If you have an emergency where time is a factor, you're probably best off going to the closest hospital.

Propublic has average wait times of NY hospitals here.


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