HACIENDA HEIGHTS — Trauma patients from the southern portion of Hacienda Heights will be taken to Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier, which has been designated a trauma center by the county Department of Health Services. The area previously had been covered informally by Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina.
The county set up the trauma center program at designated hospitals in 1983 to improve the survival chances of critically injured people. Each center has a 24-hour surgery team, including an anesthesiologist, trauma surgeon, operating room staff and support team.
The program replaced the practice of sending all seriously injured people to the nearest 24-hour emergency room, despite the fact that some were not equipped to handle surgery on a round- the-clock basis. Most trauma patients are victims of traffic accidents. Others are victims of violent crime or have suffered an accident, such as a fall, resulting in head injuries.
Other trauma centers in the San Gabriel Valley are Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, Methodist Hospital of Southern California in Arcadia and Pomona Valley Community Hospital in Pomona.
Although each center has geographic boundaries designed to ensure that a patient can be taken to a hospital within 20 minutes, the area to be covered by Presbyterian Intercommunity had been uncovered. The area also includes Montebello, Whittier, Downey and Cerritos.