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March 14, 1980

Emergency medical services— a new phase of development

JAMA. 1980;243(10):1017-1019. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300360003001

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A decade of dbate began in 1966 on the question of how much special medical consideration is warranted by victims of traumatic injury. That was the year the National Academy of Sciences issued its landmark study, "Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society."

By the mid-1970s, the nation by and large agreed that it was beneficial and even necessary to have specialized trauma centers and emergency transportation—emergency medical services (EMS)—ready for action 24 hours daily in each region of the country. Soon those involved began thinking primarily about how to define and maintain optimal trauma care centers in each geographic region.

Fourteen years later, the oldest American civilian trauma center (opened in 1965) is Chicago's Cook County Hospital—still a leader in the treatment of burn victims and other critically injured patients. The year 1980 is also the beginning of an apparent new phase of development in EMS