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April 2, 1997

Community Responsibility for Stabilizing Trauma Systems

Author Affiliations

Parkland Memorial Hospital Dallas, Tex

JAMA. 1997;277(13):1036-1037. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540370026024

To the Editor.  —The article on the future of trauma care systems by Dr Andrulis1 mentions Dallas, Tex, as a successful example of community-wide responsibility stabilizing the existing trauma services network. I believe that additional information would be helpful to clarify and more clearly illustrate the collaborative effort involved.In 1991, Dallas faced a critical point in its provision of trauma care services. For some time, because of an increase in trauma load, the prehospital care system and the capacity in the 3 hospitals in the community performing the lion's share of trauma services were being overwhelmed. The prehospital care system run by the Dallas Fire Department's EMS [Emergency Medical Services] Division often had to take patients to the nearest emergency department because of overload. For major trauma, the EMS system tried to utilize either Parkland Memorial Hospital, or Baylor or Methodist Health Centers since these were the level