I recently had a scare. A critically ill child, eight years old came in to our ER at one of our smaller community hospitals that we staff. I had to intubate this child whose airway was horribly swollen and infected. The tube I placed into his trachea was small and if it accidently became dislodged could have been catastrophic especially since we needed to transfer this child to a pediatric ICU at our Children’s Hospital. Since we are only a few miles away I knew the safest route would be to transfer the child by ground via a specialized pediatric ICU transport team that arrives with sophisticated staff and monitoring equipment. However, one thing weighed on my mind over and over, something that I had never in my 25 years of Emergency Medicine practice ever gave a single thought to.
you heard me right, while trying to care for this critically ill child I kept envisioning what might happen if the ambulance transporting this child suddenly hit one of the moon sized crater pot holes that not fill our public roadways. Would my tube fall out? Would this child die because of the inaction of our Pothole Politicians? In fact, some of this asphalt canyons are located smack dab in front of our hospital where rescue units and ambulance transport critically ill and injured patients on a daily basis. Major Indianapolis roadways have now become a real-time major public health issue and we should point our finger at one place and one place only.
The Mayor’s Office and the City Council
I don’t know what it will take to get you to act Mr. Mayor. Yeah, I saw the video of you out there filling holes with the work crews, very impressive, great photo op. Now as a public health figure I’m going tell you this. I don’t care what you are doing today if it doesn't involve fixing this issue. My colleagues and I and thousands of health care and public safety workers will be on the job, (assuming we don’t blow tires or wreck our cars getting there) but you also need be back out there now. I’ll even throw on work gloves, recruit a bunch of my friends and bring shovels to help you. I bet thousands of people in this city would volunteer, because that’s what Indianapolis is all about. I also want to see every member of the city council in work clothes and boots out there with shovels in hand. As a concerned health care provider, I don’t want to see another single photo of you at any meeting or public forum or event whatsoever until you address one of the most significant public health and safety issues our city has faced in years.
We hope you can do your job, think out of the box, recruit volunteers, get moving on this now or we as citizens of this great city need to shovel all of you, Democrat and Republican, the ‘Pot Hole Politicians’ of Indianapolis straight out of office.
Dr. Louis M. Profeta is an emergency physician practicing in Indianapolis. He is one of LinkedIn's Top Voices and the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Patient in Room Nine Says He's God. Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org is welcomed.
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