Overloading the E.R. - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Overloading the E.R.

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Madison (WKOW) -- Wisconsin gets high marks for its E.R. care, but that's not the case in many emergency rooms across the country.

  Many people are turning to the E.R. for healthcare, and that's pushing the system to its limits.

  According to a new state-by-state report released by the American College of Emergency Physicians," our country's emergency care system is below average and is being made worse by the U.S. financial crisis.

  According to the report, with more than 300,000 americans seeking emergency care daily, ninety percent of the states in the report card earned mediocre or near-failing marks.

  The report graded the states and the nation overall in categories from emergency care to patient safety.

  The U.S. did no better than a C+ in some categories and received a D for access to emergency rooms.

  And in another state report card, issued by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, efforts made to protect the U.S. from bio-terrorism, disease outbreaks, and natural disasters are now at risk due to budget cuts.

  The report also concluded major gaps remain in many critical areas of preparedness, including handling of large E.R. patient loads, quickness of detecting diseases and food safety.

  More than half of states and D.C. achieved a score of seven or less out of 10 key indicators.

  Only five states, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin, scored a perfect 10.

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