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San Diego Trauma System Marks 30 Years

San Diego Trauma System Marks 30 Years


Dr. Michael Sise, Medical Director of Trauma Unit, Scripps Mercy Hospital

Dr. Bruce Haynes, Medical Director, San Diego County Emergency Medical Services


Map of San Diego Trauma System

Being injured in a car crash, a fall, or being the victim of violent crime — can leave you in need of a particular kind of hospital care.

Health care professionals call those traumatic injuries and various forms of trauma are the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 45.

Several decades ago, members of the San Diego medical community decided to do something to reduce the number of trauma deaths. This year, they're celebrating the 30th anniversary of the San Diego trauma system.

The system is considered one of the leading trauma systems in the nation and is credited with reducing the number of trauma deaths in half.

Six area hospitals make up the system.

• Rady Children’s Hospital

• Palomar Medical Center

• Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla

• Scripps Mercy Hospital and Health Center

• Sharp Memorial Hospital

• UC San Diego Medical Center

Under the old system, trauma victims were taken to the nearest emergency room. But often times, county officials say, local hospitals lacked on-site trauma surgeons, specialists and resources to treat major traumatic injuries. Now, trauma victims in San Diego bypass community hospitals in favor of designated trauma centers.

In the past 30 years, about 250,000 injured patients have received vital trauma care in the region.

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