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State of Emergency: Overcrowding in the ER [Infographic]

Whether you’re suffering from a broken bone or a life-threatening illness, a trip to the emergency room is always a scary prospect. But what happens when an ER is faced with more patients than it can accommodate? Between 1995 and 2010, annual ER visits in the U.S. grew by 34 percent, while the number of hospitals with ERs declined by 11 percent. From long wait times to sky-high medical costs, overcrowding puts undue pressure on patients, providers and administrators when efficient, high-quality care matters most.