AEDs save lives
Last week at JFK airport, a man collapsed from cardiac arrest and two bystanders rushed to save him using CPR. Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., especially among people over 40 years old. Defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator is the only known therapy to treat an individual in cardiac arrest. According to the American Heart Association, for every minute that passes without defibrillation, a victim’s chance of survival decreases by 7 to 10 percent.
About 250,000 people die each year from cardiac arrest — over 600 a day. In 2001, one of those 250,000 people was my husband. When he went into cardiac arrest at his health club, there was no AED on site.
We must expand the availability of AEDs. The rescue at JFK airport last week highlighted the need for a clear protocol for laypeople to have access to an AED. Those heroes stated that they weren’t sure where the AED was located in the airport.This victim was lucky in that every airport is required to have an AED on site. In other parts of our city, there is no such guarantee that a victim could be similarly rescued.
My family, along with thousands of other families, has been directly impacted by sudden cardiac arrest when we lost a loved one due to an AED not being available.We need to call upon our city’s decision makers to help improve our access to AEDs across the boroughs and develop a plan so that we can have more laypeople acting as heroes and saving lives.
American Heart Association volunteer
Man the violent animal
There should be no shock over the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords. The nation has seen countless shootings, taking the lives of many. Violence seems a human trait not restricted to the mentally unbalanced but found within most people.
The reason for violence has been and will be debated. Regardless of the causes associated with the attack in Tucson the larger issue is why mankind seems incapable of dealing with conflicts without resorting to acts of heinous magnitude. As the top predators on the planet we forget that we are animals. We ascribe to ourselves qualities that are also possessed by other creatures.
Perhaps maintaining the belief that the animals we depend upon lack souls allows us to sacrifice them freely for our own good. Therefore we require no redemption from the abuses we heap upon creatures that serve our needs. Man can be cruel, excusing acts that defy understanding, claiming rationalizations that truly mean nothing.
The anger yelled at political opponents is violent and meant to threaten, intimidate and compel conformity. As a people we have endorsed and empowered the rabid that have hold of mass communication. These merchants of hate have no reason to fear rebuke or rejection. Rather throngs of sycophants laud them as patriotic Americans. Their specialty is making those with different ideologies aliens that constitute a danger to the integrity of the nation.
Regardless of what they call themselves and what their supporters believe, they are no different than the terrorists that hold all others as infidels deserving of death. Until the person in the street establishes the morals and ethics needed to debate freely in the democracy we call America, acts like the one in Arizona will occur.
Let us all start out the year with a new resolution — when it snows, let’s shovel our sidewalks and corner curbs more than the width of the shovel so that the strollers and elderly can get by.
Feel-good gun ploy
Re “Sanders seeks gun buy-back,” Jan. 6, multiple editions:
How can the city “buy back” guns it never owned? Call it what it is: payoffs for surrendering guns that nobody wants and nobody is using. All of the criminals who want to keep their guns won’t turn them in, even for the money. So this is another feel-good, do-nothing program.
Maintain Medicaid rates
Our institution, New York Hospital Queens, welcomes true “Medicaid reform.” We are impressed and hopeful that our new governor is coming into office with both a mission and the framework for a plan to tackle what so many have been reluctant to even broach. Real reform will not be easy.
We are confident that the right experts are being tapped to ensure that “reimbursement reduction” will not be portrayed as “reform.” Real reform is a huge undertaking and will not be accomplished in the short term — the systems are simply too complex. Patience and persistence will be required to plan and then implement reform that will eventually strengthen the healthcare delivery system, not further damage it.
The healthcare delivery infrastructure can’t survive a reform approach that is based upon rate reductions. There are few (if any) nonprofit or public New York hospitals today that have a margin that can handle a reduction of any magnitude in the current Medicaid reimbursement rates, which are well below adequate. Neither can the core delivery system that includes the very primary care physician base that needs to be strengthened in order to achieve necessary reforms in this state, and federally. The reform approaches that are intended to push collaboration, access and resulting efficiencies throughout the continuum of patient care (medical homes, accountable care organizations) require that both hospitals and the primary care physicians be viable.
Hospitals simply cannot provide safe patient care with an uncertain but declining revenue stream. At what point is this fragile industry to be considered in serious danger like the auto industry and banks were when they required bailouts not all that long ago? We can plan and budget for uncertainty, but not for unlimited uncertainty. Continued cuts have helped cause the demise of many local hospitals in recent history. There will likely be more closures unless there is relief — relief that supports the process of real reform, including what we all need to do in this state, and then on the federal level.
Stephen S. Mills
New York Hospital Queens
Keep it clean
My family and Iwere completely surprised and appalled to see the I Have Often Walked article “Regal Rialto, sleazy Savoy” in the Jan. 6 edition. You don’t have any other memories of Queens but an old movie house that played soft-core porn? The titles of the movies shown in the picture are completely unacceptable. This is a community newspaper and is read by families. Why don’t you write about a place like Jahn’s, the old ice cream shop in Richmond Hill?
Hire more cops
Looking back on 2010, it is very disturbing to see that crime has risen citywide and in Queens County. Vehicle theft was up 11.9 percent borough-wide compared to 2009. Homicide rates rose in 2010 citywide compared to 2009. A scary fact is that two police precincts in Queens County made up 20 percent of the total rise in homicide citywide last year. Overall, murder rates are up 13 percent for 2010.
In October 2000 there were 40,864 police officers city wide.According to the New York City Police Department website, there are currently 34,500 police officers citywide.This is 6,364 fewer cops. This is a very troubling statistic, one that must be addressed immediately.
As crime in Queens County is increasing, the number of police officers must also increase. More police officers on the streets will lead to a reduction in crime. I urge my fellow Queens residents to call on Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council to increase the number of police officers on the streets before more people are victims of crime.
Democratic State Committeeman, 26th AD
Rich vs. poor
It’s war! The wealthiest Americans are orchestrating a war between private and public sector employees. First, our jobs are sent to China and Mexico. Whole towns are devastated and the tax base gutted. The owners and the corporations move their accounts off-shore and pay no taxes. The Republicans turn billion-dollar surpluses into trillion-dollar deficits, deregulate the banks and fund two wars with blood but not money. The richest 1 percent has more than the other 99 percent, while 50 million Americans are without health insurance. Walmart’s Walton family has more money than the bottom 40 percent of our people combined, made by selling goods manufactured by non-union labor in China and sold by non-union, low-paid labor in the U.S. Our quality of life has declined, poverty has increased, hope has evaporated.
But all this misery isn’t enough. Now taxpayers have to be pitted against their neighbors. The private sector has to participate in a race to the bottom with public workers. Class envy has to mean that the worker with benefits be taken down to relieve the misery of the worker without. Brotherhood and sisterhood and freedom of association and any sense of community must cease.
Yes, we are one of the richest nations on Earth — but the money is hoarded by the fat few, the patriots for profit. The wealth that we created has been redistributed from Main Street to Wall Street. That's right: It’s our money and belongs to all of us collectively. These worker-hating suits won’t be satisfied as long as there is one proud and dignified worker standing.