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September 25, 1996

Averting Traumatic Injury to Trauma Care in Los AngelesA Near Miss With Lessons for All

Author Affiliations

From the National Public Health and Hospital Institute, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1996;276(12):946-947. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540120024013

The crisis facing the health care system in Los Angeles County has threatened to engulf a critical part of the city's and the area's essential services—trauma care provided at the Los Angeles County+University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Medical Center. Though averted at this time, it should serve as a clarion call to communities across the country that a similar consequence could befall them if they do not take heed from the Los Angeles County experience.

The circumstances described in the article by Cornwell and colleagues in this issue of The Journal describe a brush with fate that has far-reaching ramifications.1 In portraying the nature of trauma care, this article brings home the fact that institutional providers of such services touch people from all walks of life—rich and poor, inner city, suburban and rural residents—who deserve treatment in the best trauma care setting. In addition, as stated, action that reduces