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Speak Up: How Long Have You Waited in the ER?

A study shows that waiting times in emergency rooms are long, and dangerously long at that.

Harvard Medical School reviewed data from over 92,000 emergency room visits, and found that in 2004, about a quarter of heart attack victims waited 50 minutes before receiving care. The average wait for a heart attack victim clocked in at about 20 minutes in 2004, up from eight minutes in 1997. Overall, the time of emergency room waits for all types of injuries grew 36 percent between 1996 and 2004.

Harvard's Dr. David Hammerstein, who participated in the study said, "One contributor to ED (Emergency Department) crowding is Americans' poor access to primary and preventive care, which could address medical issues before they become emergencies." No wonder all the 2008 presidential candidates are scrambling to create plans for updating our health care system.

Have you ever been to the ER for yourself or with a friend, loved one, or child? How was your experience? How long was your wait? Speak up and tell me all about it in the comments section below.

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