If you are severely injured in a car wreck or some other accident, the chances are that emergency personnel are going to take you to a trauma center hospital-- if possible.
Statistics show that if you are badly hurt, and not within 50 miles of a trauma center, you have a mortality rate that is 20% higher than the national average.
But Georgia has only 17 hospitals designated as trauma centers, far fewer than the 30 centers that public health officials say the state needs. Most of the highest level trauma centers in Georgia are in the Atlanta area.
There are very few of these in South west Georgia, and the time you are enroute for specialized trauma treatment could make the difference in life or death.
We are pleased to see that Crisp Regional hospital in Cordele has become a level four trauma center facility.
Hospital officials anticipate moving up to a level three trauma center within the next few months, and that's good news, too.
The equipment and expertise required for trauma centers is expensive, and that's a problem in a time of budget cuts and high unemployment, and we realize it's a burden.
Still, we know that more trauma centers will save more lives, and we encourage South Georgia's hospitals to do what they can to achieve trauma center status.