Arkansas is the only state without a trauma center to deal with people who suffer a personal injury. Currently, the Arkansas Legislature is debating a plan to institute a trauma system. Unfortunately, a similar plan was defeated in 2007. Hopefully, this will not happen again.
According to government statistics, 15,000 people are hospitalized with injuries in Arkansas. Of those, 2,000 people die from their personal injuries and 6,000 suffer permanent disabilities each year. Arkansas has the third highest death rate in the country from motor vehicle accidents. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 25 deaths per 100,00 people annually in the state compared to a national average of 15.2 per 100,000.
It is time that the Arkansas Legislature act and develop a trauma system to help people who suffer a personal injury in Arkansas. State health officials state publicly that a trauma system would prevent an estimated 2,000 disabilities and save 200-600 lives of Arkansans who don’t get appropriate care fast enough.
In my personal injury law firm, I have seen clients transferred from one hospital to the next to get to a hospital that can handle their injuries. I also have clients that were forced to travel hundreds of miles to get appropriate medical treatment for their personal injuries. In the proposed trauma-system bill, hospitals and emergency rooms would be linked statewide ensuring that the trauma patients are taken from the accident scene directly to the closest facility that is best able to treat the specific injuries. This will save valuable time in the treatment of personal injuries.