Georgia Among States with Inadequate Access to Trauma Centers
GEORGIA – October 24, 2018 (infosurhoy.com) A recent study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that the majority of states in the U.S. have inadequate access to trauma centers. Georgia was among the states with poor access, meaning lives are lost every year in Georgia as people wait for medical help. The story is reported online at infosurhoy.com.*
Traumatic injuries, like those sustained in a car accident, are the leading killer of Americans under the age of 45, and many people die before they can reach a hospital. Because of a lack of access to trauma centers, more people die in the Southern, Appalachian, and Western states in the U.S. than in other parts of the country.
After a traumatic injury, doctors usually have about 45 minutes to administer life-saving treatment. The medical community refers to this time periods as the “golden hour,” because blood loss is not yet life-threatening, and adrenaline is still protecting organs from going into shock and shutting down. When 45 minutes have passed, survival rates plummet. Every moment counts, which means every moment spent waiting for an ambulance and every moment spent in transit to a hospital can determine whether a patient lives or dies.
On average, people in the United States wait 8 minutes for an ambulance after calling 911. In rural areas, that typically stretches to around 14 minutes. In some remote places in the U.S., people wait 30 agonizing minutes for help and even longer to reach a trauma center.
By analyzing 20 years of U.S. data, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that almost half of all trauma deaths occurred before patients reached hospitals. This is because more than half of all U.S. states — including the state of Georgia — have inadequate access to trauma centers. The researchers estimated that faster transit times and better trauma center access could save 7,600 lives every year.
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