Hailing San Diego County's trauma system as one of the best in the nation, doctors and health care officials told county supervisors on Tuesday that the county's 2-year-old program is exceeding expectations in saving the lives of critically injured persons.
The trauma program, in which the severely injured are transported to one of six hospitals throughout the county for emergency treatment, handled 4,374 patients between July 1, 1985, and June 30, 1986, county officials said. Of those, 343 persons whose chance of surviving their injuries was less than 50% "are alive today due to the San Diego County Trauma System," according to a report prepared by the county's Emergency Medical Services division.
"What we have been able to accomplish here in San Diego is far better than what has been accomplished anywhere else in the country and probably in the world," Dr. Steve Shackford told the commissioners.
Motor vehicle accidents accounted for 64% (2,787) of the trauma victims last year, with 93% of those patients surviving their accidents, the report said. The study also noted that males represented 77% of the county's major trauma victims last year, and that the average time required to transport trauma patients to hospitals was 11 minutes.