Emergency: NYC Season 1 Review – A deep dive into the honorable lives of NYC healthcare workers

By Emma Vine
Published: March 30, 2023 (Last updated: March 19, 2024)
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Though not for the faint of heart, Emergency: NYC is an honest, honorable deep dive into the lives of medical professionals, showcasing them as the heroes they are.

We review the Netflix documentary series Emergency: NYC Season 1, released on March 29, 2023.

“In the NYC area, there are approximately 2.7 million medical emergency calls made per year. That’s nearly 300 calls every hour.”

This eye-opening statistic highlighted in the first episode of Emergency: NYC instantly captivates viewers as they digest the sheer volume of medical emergencies that occur in the city daily.

Emergency: NYC Season 1 Review

The docuseries, executive produced and directed by Ruthie Shatz and Adi Barash, introduces the audience to various medical professionals, including neurosurgeons, EMTs, and EMS workers.

Over eight episodes, patients admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital, North Shore University Hospital, Cohen Children’s Medical Center, and Lenox Health Greenwich Village seek treatment for medical emergencies.

The life-threatening conditions detailed in Emergency: NYC includes gunshot wounds, kidney and liver transplants, and a brain clot.

Though the medical cases depicted occur after the lockdown, Lenox Hill Hospital chair of neurosurgery, David Langer, discusses the significant changes in medical settings due to the pandemic.

With an overabundance of patients, hospitals became overwhelmed. The result was early deaths and patients with pre-existing conditions delaying care due to fear. This exacerbated their symptoms and, for some, created other medical complications in the process.

One patient with breathing difficulties stresses that he’s been in his apartment for the last four months and hasn’t stepped outside to seek care or pick up medication.

On the flip side, as COVID restrictions in the city lifted, and people started to venture out into the public again, crime increased, especially gun violence.

This is the devastating reality for Josh, a teenager who was shot and is in critical condition, with a team of doctors at Cohen Children’s Medical Center working tirelessly around the clock to save his life.

READ: Best Documentary Series on Netflix Of All Time

A powerful component of Emergency: NYC is hearing the healthcare professionals’ points of view as they dedicate their lives to saving others. Though heroes, they are humans like the rest of us, with copious amounts of pressure on them every minute of the day.

Seeing patients in critical condition fully recover gets them out of bed in the morning. The darker side of the profession is when lives are lost, which is an onerous burden, and as a viewer, you can sense the weight that carries.

And the job doesn’t stop there. It’s also imperative that healthcare workers act as a support system for the families of each patient, and in the docuseries, their compassion shines through.

Viewers get to witness heartfelt moments as medical staff comfort relatives and spouses of patients, reassuring them that they will do everything possible to help their loved ones fully recover.

The healthcare workers also voice the challenges of making quick, difficult medical decisions, which require a sense of urgency and are often a matter of life and death.

Emergency: NYC is not only educational but fascinating. When you see how much preparation, attention to detail, and empathy are required in the profession, you have even more appreciation for the medical community.

Is Emergency: NYC Good?

The series has many heartfelt moments as patients seek medical treatment and lives are saved. The docuseries reminds us just how heroic healthcare professionals are and makes us appreciate life more, emphasizing how a threatening medical condition can instantly change a person’s fate.

Emergency: NYC will be a relatable documentary series if you’re in the medical field. However, if, like me, you’re squeamish and easily distressed by sickness, the imagery may be alarming, making the series a difficult watch.

What did you think of the Netflix documentary series Emergency: NYC Season 1? Comment below. 

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