“Traumatic injury is a term which refers to physical injuries of sudden onset and severity which require immediate medical attention. They include motor vehicle collisions, sports injuries, falls, natural disasters and a multitude of other physical injuries which can occur at home, on the street, or while at work and require immediate care.”
The trauma system needs dedicated, recurring, and sustainable funding to maintain and grow these vital services for a growing population in Texas.
A disaster can strike on any highway or road in this state that you travel on, and care is needed within 60 minutes, also known as the golden hour, for medical intervention to be most effective in saving lives and saving function.
THOT members operate 8 of the 17 Level I trauma centers in Texas which provide the highest level of care 24/7 to ensure that pediatric and adult surgeons and specialists are ready and available when the emergency happens.
Trauma funding started in 2003 has drastically expanded the trauma system in Texas and increased from 189 to 285 designated trauma centers in 174 counties.
Trauma payments in Texas are primarily funded by the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP). Since 2004 over $764 million has been distributed to Texas hospitals to supplement the cost of uncompensated trauma care.
Even with this source of funds, unreimbursed trauma care provided in 2014 for THOT members was almost $97 million.
The Texas population continues to grow and the trauma system must have the support to grow with it; the American College of Surgeons recommends at least one Level 1 trauma center for every million people, in Houston each center serves 3 million.
This video provides an overview of the trauma center at one THOT member facility, Parkland Health & Hospital System:
See the difference THOT member University Health System trauma center made for one Texas family: