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Georgia Trauma Centers Increase Chances of Survival

State's Support of Trauma Network Saves Lives

MACON, GA (Wednesday, June 17, 2015) - Recent research - conducted in part by physicians at Atrium Health Navicent and Mercer University - shows that proximity to one of Georgia's trauma centers increases a patient's chances of survival when critical injuries occur.

The research, funded by a grant from the Georgia Trauma Commission, reviewed the cases of more than 188,000 patients between 2008 and 2012 with the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of trauma care provided at Georgia trauma centers.

"Our research has shown that a critically injured patient has a 10 percent increase in the probability of survival when treated at one of Georgia's trauma centers, compared to those treated at non-trauma centers," said Dr. Dennis Ashley, Director of Trauma and Critical Care for Medical Center, Navicent Health, Chair of the Department of Surgery for Mercer University School of Medicine and Chair of the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission.

The research team consisted of physicians and clinicians from Atrium Health Navicent and Mercer University in Macon, Ga.; Georgia Regents University in Augusta, Ga.; Emory University in Atlanta and the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla. Further support was provided by the Office of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma at the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Georgia's trauma centers are divided into four levels of classification with Level I trauma centers providing the broadest spectrum and subspecialties of surgery and critical care. Medical Center, Navicent Health, a level I trauma center, provides trauma care for approximately 30 central and south Georgia counties, or an estimated population of 750,000.

"This is Georgia's first attempt to analyze the effectiveness of our trauma system statewide. Although national data has proven that trauma centers save lives, we now have Georgia-specific data that proves this point. Our state's investment in trauma care is saving lives," said Dr. Ashley.

Dr. Ashley presented the results of the research at the American Association for the Surgery of Trauama's national meeting in September 2014, and the results of the study were published in the April 2015 issue of the Journal of Trauma.