But consider this nugget, from reporter Chris Wragge's account, concerning the new life-saving technology that saved the life of 56-year-old Joe Tiralosi:
A specific procedure helped save Tiralosi's life. Special cooling pads, not available in all emergency rooms, lowered his body temperature to 91 degrees, essential in preventing long-term neurological damage and preserving brain function. Placed in a medically induced coma, incredibly, he began to wake up three days later -- without brain damage.
Now we might ask ourselves: will every ER have this technology? And if not, why not?
Here at SMS, we are reminded of a medical-equipment controversy surrounding the death of Michael Jackson in June: As we noted at the time, some argued that a $1300 device, an Automatic External Defibrillator, might have saved Jackson's life, if one of those machines had been available in his house when he died.
How many such devices are there, waiting to be placed everywhere they are needed? And how many more such devices are out there, waiting to be invented?
And we might further ask: How will the procedure that saved the life of Joe Tiralosi be accounted for? Will it be counted as a cost, part of the bulging expenditures for healthcare in the US? Or will be counted as a savings, because Tiralosi, who seems to have suffered no ill effects from his dramatic encounter with death, is now free to continue being productive?