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King/Drew Trauma Plan Raises Concerns

September 17, 2004

Re the proposed trauma-unit closure at King/Drew Medical Center, Sept. 14-15: L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky states, "We're threatened with losses of life. That's what this is about," as one reason for the proposed closure. Feel threatened no more; we can be certain of losses of life as a result of this measure. Be also prepared for a catastrophic impact on the remaining (and crumbling) trauma units in the county. One of the poorest and more violent communities in the county has been betrayed once again.

Our county officials cite money-saving as one of the reasons for closure. It is now clear that saving money is more relevant than saving lives.

A. Patricia Del Angel MD

Culver City


In The Times (Sept. 15) we learn that the county supervisors will be spending $800,000 to replace the county seal because certain images offended the sensibilities of certain people. In another article we learn that the trauma unit at King/Drew Medical Center will be closed by the same Board of Supervisors because trauma services are costly and the medical center needs to sort out its problems. It seems to me that $800,000 might go a long way toward fixing the problems at King/Drew while keeping its acclaimed and vital trauma center open.

Bill Wruck

Alta Loma


"Officials" refer to King/Drew's trauma unit as being a "source of great pride and prestige" (Sept. 14). I don't understand. Why close the one part of King/Drew that is working well, while keeping open the parts that aren't? It seems to me there is a management problem on the part of the supervisors. If one wanted to relieve pressure on the hospital, wouldn't it make more sense to shut down the departments that are failing to meet standards while continuing to provide a much needed community service by keeping the trauma center open?

Ann K. Williams

Santa Monica


As a longtime resident of Los Angeles County, I have always thought the closure of some or all of King/Drew Medical Center was the true intent of the past year's concerns. From the accreditation issue to the untimely deaths that have been reported, the county would love to get out of the hospital business, and this is just one way to do that. I find it hard to believe that these problems exist only at King/Drew.

The entire Board of Supervisors needs fresh management. I was never in favor of the trauma tax because I knew it was a sham. No hospital would open a new trauma center, and the Board of Supervisors knows this. What happened to all that trauma money we voted for? We all were scared into voting for this measure; now look what is happening to our trauma network. You can rest assured that none of the county supervisors would willfully show up for any kind of care at the hospitals they oversee.

Dennis Carter


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