Katrina and Irene

Stories about Irene will be all over the news today, and many of them will say that the evacuation orders for low-lying areas, particularly in NYC, were an overreaction. They will say this because there have been so few deaths, so few tragic images for the news media. The people who will be saying this will be wrong.

Emergency Department “Did Not Waits” – what’s the real story?

This appeared in yesterday’s West: “Urgent ED cases walk out before treatment”

More than three patients needing urgent attention leave the busy emergency departments of Perth’s major hospitals every day without being treated, new figures show. Documents obtained through Freedom of Information laws show that last year, 7215 patients across all levels of urgency attended the emergency departments at Royal Perth, Sir Charles Gairdner, Fremantle and Princess Margaret hospitals but left without being seen by a doctor.

They included 48 category 2 or “emergency” patients, typically including suspected heart attacks, and 1184 category 3 or “urgent” cases, which can include head injuries and major bleeding or fractures. Twenty of these patients were children.

This article looks at some important questions, but it fails to illuminate us on what the answers might be – and the information presented is a little misleading.

Victoria is burning.

Update 9 Feb: There are now 126 people confirmed dead, and the toll is projected to rise about 200. Flickr photoset of the firest here. ~~ Any fire reports? Are the Hoydenizens ok? There’s probably no mobile coverage if you… Read More ›

Hurricane Katrina et al

My mate Phil has a long but excellent post on questions raised by Katrina. My thoughts in no especially coherent order: Much as I loathe and despise my current government, I do believe that any disaster that news crews can… Read More ›