LAKEWOOD, Ohio-- Lakewood’s emergency medical care is under attack from residents concerned the closing of Lakewood Hospital will put lives at risk.
The medical facility closed in February, despite a hard fought battle to keep it open. Now the city’s mayor is fighting rumors “people will die” in transit to other medical facilities because Lakewood no longer offers inpatient facilities.
“The loss of a local inpatient hospital has created a sense of vulnerability, and we all understand that and it’s natural that we should feel that way,” said Mayor Michael Summers.
The mayor and Fire Chief Scott Gilman said the Cleveland Clinic continues to operate an emergency room at the same location 24/7. It is staffed with board-certified ER physicians.
“Our opportunity is to help our citizens understand the kind of care they can, and should receive, is in fact, as good, if not better, but it’s different,” said the mayor.
Both Summers and Gilman said there was no delay getting emergency care to residents.
“Treatment begins the moment we arrive at the doorstep of our citizens, and the connectivity of our life packs and telemedicine capacity allow for speedier response,” Summers said. “It’s not just about arriving at a door at a hospital, it’s about having that door open and ready and prepared to take the patient and speeding the service that they need.”
“It takes longer to get to the hospital, but it’s not time lost in the care of the patient,” Gilman said.
The chief said more than half the city’s emergency medical runs were still made to Lakewood Hospital. The remaining patients were taken to the closest and most appropriate medical facility. Fairview Hospital is 3.2 miles away from Lakewood Hospital.