State Health Department: More need access to trauma care

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Top Illinois health officials say too many communities don’t have access to trauma care.

The agency on Sunday released a study recommending ways the state can increase access to emergency medical care in so-called “trauma center deserts.”

The report says the centers increase a person’s odds of survival.

Health Department Director LaMar Hasbrouck says victims of violence and other causes of traumatic injuries deserve access to care no matter where they live.

The report recommends that community leaders on the South Side of Chicago talk to existing hospitals about becoming designated as trauma centers and support legislation to add more levels of care to the current system.

It also suggests that hospitals caring for pediatric trauma patients consider increasing their age limit from 15 years to 18 or 19 years.