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UCSD Trauma Surgeon Urges Prevention First

Audio

Aired 4/14/09

More than 150,000 Americans die from trauma each year. It is the leading cause of death for people aged 1-45, and a growing problem for seniors who are living longer, more active lives. Unfortunately, most people do not think trauma will happen to them. We'll explore trauma care in San Diego and what you need to know to prevent - and survive - trauma.

Maureen Cavanaugh: You never know when you're going to need it, but there's nothing more important when you do. If you suffer an accident, a crash or an attack, you'd better hope that there's a medical trauma center near you. If you live in San Diego County, there probably is. But that's not the case in all parts of the country. Trauma centers are expensive to maintain and they require a large, skilled staff.

In addition, relatively few medical students want to go into trauma care these days. A lot of other specialties pay better. And being a trauma doctor means working long hours, and spending much of your time being on call for emergencies.

Last year, Tom Fudge spoke with Dr. Raul Coimbra, chief of UC San Diego's Trauma Center, about the reality and the future of trauma rooms, and the role they play in our health care system.

Guests

Dr. Raul Coimbra, chief of UCSD's Trauma Center.

Logan Jenkins, columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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