Lakewood still has an emergency room and there are other hospitals in the area, so what’s lost in closing Lakewood Hospital?

Time.

In serious emergencies, getting to a working hospital quickly can make all the difference. In cases of stroke, heart attack or trauma, an emergency room on its own has to reroute patients to a hospital. Even if the nearest hospital is a few miles away, sorting everything out uses up precious time. Cleveland’s emergency services will only transport patients directly to a complete hospital, a precaution followed by many other cities’ EMS.

Local pulmonologist Dr. Terry Kilroy explains their concern simply: time is tissue. “Any time that is wasted before definitive treatment is critical,” Kilroy notes, and “a free-standing ER will assure wasted time.”

Closing a hospital puts people at risk. That’s a risk we should reject in November.