IN moving towards integrated trauma system, why it could save li - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

IN moving towards integrated trauma system, why it could save lives

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Indiana is one out of just nine states in the country that don't have an integrated trauma system.

The State Health Department says moving to one would save lives, so this summer they are holding a Trauma Listening Tour.

They will be visiting communities across the state to get input, and Vanderburgh County is their first stop.

In many rural communities, transportation to the proper trauma center can take a long time.

Yet rural communities need help the most.

The health department says 60 percent of all trauma deaths happen in places where 25 percent of the population lives.

The state says switching to an unified trauma system would make a difference.

Dr. Gregory Larkin, Indiana State Health Commissioner says "For the average Joe that gets into some severe tractor accident, they can immediately set their sights to get to the nearest trauma care center where there'll be neurosurgeons and other highly skilled capabilities and doctors and diagnostic services."

This summer, as a first step, the department will hold forums around the state.

Lisa Gray, Director of Trauma Services at the St. Mary's Medical Center says there's a long term goals as well, "To get small hospitals, smaller community, critical access hospitals up and running as trauma centers to provide quick access to trauma care," says Gray.

The state health department says switching to an integrated system can decrease preventable death rates by up to 30 percent.

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