At the very least, Valencia County needs an emergency room, open 24 hours a day. If a child falls out of bed at 2 a.m. and cuts her head, if a grandfather feels chest pains at half past midnight, if a construction worker is injured on the job site at 6 a.m., it’s an emergency, and help is needed immediately.

Even if it’s just a place where a person’s condition can be evaluated and stabilized before transport to an Albuquerque hospital, it’s a necessity for a place as big as Valencia County.

We all know that doctors have a better chance of saving someone’s life if medical care is given as soon as possible preferably within the first half hour or so.

Many lives might be saved if there was an emergency room with all the necessary equipment to stabilize the heart patient long enough to be transported.

The ER personnel would also be doing things such as setting fractured limbs, taking care of nose bleeds that wouldn’t stop and the hundreds of other non-life-threatening incidents that may occur.

Valencia County residents should be willing to pay a small tax increase to help support such a facility. Perhaps our local doctors would be willing to take turns in providing service if necessary. Maybe we’d have to hire “freelance” physicians to help.

But something most certainly must be done for the good of us all.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.