Study: Majority of U.S. States Have Poor Access to Trauma Centers


October 25, 2018

GEORGIA – October 22, 2018 (dailymail.co.uk) According to new research by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the majority of states in the U.S., including Georgia, have poor access to trauma centers. During life-saving time periods, distance to a proper trauma center can mean all the difference. The study information is posted online at dailymail.co.uk.*

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 a person’s organs from going into shock. Survival rates plummet after 45 minutes have passed. Every moment counts, which means every moment spent waiting for an ambulance and every moment 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 more access could save 7,600 lives every year. 

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