Trauma system showing results

Published 10:23pm Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thanks to the establishment of a statewide trauma system, Alabama has had a significant decrease in trauma-related deaths on the highway.

The details of a report compiled by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association were released Thursday.

In a news release, Dr. John Campbell, retired state emergency services medical director, said about 80 percent of Alabama’s trauma cases are a result of motor vehicle accidents.

“This report shows that our efforts to improve emergency response and treatment have been effective in reducing fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents,” Campbell said.

According to the report, which covers years 2006 to 2011, there have been 404 fewer deaths caused by trauma since 2006, before a trauma system was established. Also, during 2010 and 2011 EMS handled almost 45 percent more accidents involving traumatic brain and spinal chord injuries with a lower death rate than in prior years.

The trauma system established in 2007 includes a coordinated system of care than includes emergency medical technicians, a trauma communications system, hospital emergency department staff, trauma surgeons and other physicians who provide immediate care. All these providers work together to determine the best possible course of action for the injured persons through the 911 phone system.

“Before we put the trauma system into use our highway death rate was the fourth highest in the nation and it has dropped to 11th in just two years,” Campbell said.

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