State health officials have discussed the need for more trauma centers in Indiana.
Indianapolis has three Level-One Trauma Centers, but according to Dr. Larry Reed, the Director of Trauma Services at IU Health, about half the state is dangerously far away from a trauma center.
” With the recent EMS rule that went into effect, somewhere around 50-percent of the state is not within an hour or 45 minutes of a trauma center, so they are sort of outside the safe range,” he says.
The danger for patients is that the survival rate. Those who are treated at a trauma centers are 25 percent more likely to live.
Reed says the reason trauma centers are so effective is because they can provide the kind of care specific to a patient. For example a hospital that does not have a trauma center may take in a patient with a severe head injury, and not have a neurosurgeon on staff. That could mean a death, while a patient waits for a qualified surgeon, or is moved again to a different hospital.
Reed says a new EMS system might help connect patients with trauma centers, but it‘s too soon to judge how effective that change has been. Indiana is one of three states that does not have a formal state trauma system.