COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Legislation to better fund the state's
trauma centers, which care for some of the most critically injured
patients, was introduced Wednesday.
The bill would set up an advisory council to seek grants and a
steady source of funding, such as extra fees on traffic tickets.
The state's six most specialized trauma centers lost $18.3
million in 2001, but the legislation provides no immediate money
and has a slim chance at passing this year since the Legislature
adjourns June 5. The measure probably will be taken up next winter.
The centers lose money because many patients, about 23 percent
in South Carolina, can't pay for costly, life-saving treatments. A
lack of funding has forced trauma centers in some parts of the
country to close.
"Unless something is done, this whole system will collapse. And
if you get injured, there may be no place that will take you,"
said Dr. Richard Bell, chairman of the University of South Carolina
medical school's surgery department and former trauma director at
Palmetto Health Richland.
Co-sponsors of the bill are Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, and
Rep. Denny Neilson, D-Darlington. Neilson received trauma care in
2001 after a serious car accident.
Neilson was critically injured when a tractor-trailer crossed
into her lane on U.S. 15 near the Lee-Darlington County border and
struck the car she was driving.
Neilson spent six weeks in intensive care. Almost all of the
bones on the left side of her body were broken.
"South Carolina's trauma system is in critical and unstable
condition," said Department of Health and Environmental Control
Commissioner C. Earl Hunter. "Accidental injuries claimed the
lives of nearly 2,000 South Carolinians in 2001, many of them
children and young adults. That number has been increasing every
year since 1997."
But it's getting harder to find doctors willing to volunteer to
be on-call for trauma center cases, Dr. E. Douglas Norcross said.
"You're caring for a lot of people who won't be able to pay you
anything, and often at odd hours ... it's a sacrifice."
The state's 24 trauma centers are not emergency rooms and
hospital participation in the trauma system is not required.
"We're certainly hoping there will be some funding to go along
with the legislation," said Norcross, medical director for trauma
services at the Medical University of South Carolina.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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Thread: SC Trauma Centers
05-22-2003, 02:22 AM #1
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06-03-2003, 12:13 PM #2
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- Jun 2003
- Ridgeland, SC, USA
SC Trauma Centers
It is interesting to see some concern about SC's trauma centers. We don't even have a hospital in our county at this point in time. We have to transport out of county and even out of state, shutting down a truck for at least an hour at the time to transport. Fortunatley we have a trauma center right across the river in Savannah GA with a helo that flies to us 4 times more than anywhere else.
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