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October 12, 2005

Access to Trauma Centers—Reply

JAMA. 2005;294(14):1759-1760. doi:10.1001/jama.294.14.1760-a

In Reply: With respect to the time intervals used in our models, we tried to incorporate emergency travel times that were typical for the nation. To the best of our knowledge, no national database existed that could have provided us with these times, so we performed a systematic analysis of peer-reviewed studies in the United States as a source of data.1 Although one of the articles we analyzed reported an 11-minute emergency call to liftoff time,2 others reported this time to be as short as 4, 3.5, and 3 minutes.35 Our article also included a sensitivity analysis that incorporated additional helicopter time. If, for instance, Drs Davis and Wish believe that a lag of more than 10 minutes is typical for the nation, they could use our results to add 10 minutes, changing the time interval from receipt of an emergency call to liftoff from 3.5 to 13.5 minutes, and the estimated percentage of US residents with access to level I or II trauma centers in 60 minutes from 84.1% to 75.7%.

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