Trauma, Emergency and Bioterrorism Response Assessment
Trauma is a critical injury most often caused by a physical force such as a car accident, fall, assault, drowning, or severe burn. Trauma is the leading cause of death in the first 40 years of life. The Countywide System of Trauma Centers, which is coordinated by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LAC/DHS), consists of pre-hospital and hospital care including care provided in, or en route to (via paramedics, ambulance, helicopter, etc.), trauma centers, acute care hospitals, or other health care facilities. An entire team of specialized physicians and medical personnel, including a trauma surgeon, must be in a trauma center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to respond at a moment’s notice to treat life-threatening injuries and perform immediate life-saving surgical intervention if needed.
Currently there are 15 trauma centers in the County of Los Angeles to cover over 4,000 square miles and treat more than 25,000 trauma patients with major injuries annually. Survival from such severe injuries is directly related to the amount of time between the injury and receipt of trauma care.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES
Emergency medical services are pre-hospital and hospital critical and urgent care services, including care provided in, or en route to, both public and private acute care hospitals or health care facilities. Common conditions requiring these services include heart attack, stroke, asthma attack, hyper/hypo-thermia, and diabetic shock. Since 1990, there has been a dramatic increase in the need for these services while the number of hospitals and health facilities providing them has decreased.
Bioterrorism response refers to activities undertaken, contracted for, and/or coordinated by the LAC EMS Agency and Department of Public Health to address the medical needs of people exposed to bioterrorist or chemical attack. These activities include such things as stockpiling safe and appropriate medicines, training healthcare workers and other emergency personnel to diagnose and treat people exposed to a bioterrorist or chemical attack, ensuring the availability of screening and treatment for health and mental health needs from exposure to a bioterrorist or chemical agents.
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