Ambulances return to former LICH ER after 7-month diversion

EMS transporting to NYU Langone Cobble Hill

December 5, 2014 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The ambulance bay is back in service at the former Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill. The walk-in center is now operated by NYU Langone. Photo courtesy of a Brooklyn Eagle contributor
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Non-critical ambulance service has resumed at the former Long Island College Hospital (LICH) walk-in emergency department in Cobble Hill, now operated by NYU Langone.

“Basic Life Support” ambulances, which generally transport patients who do not require extra support or cardiac monitoring, are back after a seven-month diversion.

Since the hospital was closed by SUNY after a two year battle with the community, patient volume at the walk-in emergency department, operating out of the former ER, has been low.

An NYU spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle, “EMS is bringing patients requiring general emergency department care. Because ambulance volume will be dependent on many factors, including borough volume, we are unable to predict the total volume expected.”

She added, “Currently, we are caring for about 25 patients a day, of which some arrive by ambulance.”

FDNY oversees 911 ambulance runs in New York City. An FDNY spokesperson told the Eagle, “FDNY transports patients to for various injuries/illnesses to NYU Langone Cobble Hill in Brooklyn. We transport patients who are ‘general admission,’ meaning [who] are sick or injured.

Questions remain, however, about what type of ambulance would transport a patient who has had a stroke or heart attack, and where these patients would be taken, if not to the NYU Langone facility.

SUNY Downstate diverted ambulances from bringing patients to the facility several times over the course of the past two years as part of its controversial effort to close the hospital. LICH accepted its last ambulance in May 2014. Community members, officials and health care advocates have held numerous rallies to return ambulance service to the clinic.

The former two-bay ambulance area has been reduced to one bay with the installation of an air conditioning unit and scaffolding.

An EMT told the Eagle that many of the patients brought by ambulance to the ED are re-transported to hospitals after receiving treatment at the center.

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