Houston trauma centers struggle to take up UTMB slack

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KHOU-11’s Leigh Frillici reports on the local trauma-center impact of Ike’s UTMB devastation:

Damage and financial troubles after Hurricane Ike cost UTMB at Galveston its level one trauma center. Now patients are flown to the next closest center with a helipad, which is Memorial Hermann.

“We usually see 450 trauma admissions a month. This October, we did over 600,” said [Memorial Hermann E.R. Director Dr. James ] McCarthy. “It was our busiest month on record for the last 10 years.”

With about 4.5 million people in the Greater Houston area, we should have four trauma centers. But what we had before Hurricane Ike was three, and now with UTMB losing their major center, Houston is down to two.

Money is what it will take to get another major trauma center on line.

“What we’re talking about is creating a trauma network in Houston that will take care of you and your family when you get into a car accident on your way home from work, or on your way home from a holiday get together,” said McCarthy.

UTMB is such an important resource for our community and our entire state. It would be nice if some of the pols who were so busy grandstanding in the aftermath of Ike were just as committed to rebuilding and restoring the important resource that is UTMB as quickly as possible. We would like to see some of our local officials pushing the issue more forcefully also.

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