Trauma Network In The Future?

JONESBORO/WEST MEMPHIS, AR (KAIT) - In the time of an emergency every second counts.

"If you can get people transported in an efficient manor, that golden hour - every second in that gives them not only an opportunity to survive, but the rehabilitation rates are just tremendous," said State Representative Denny Sumpter.

He has been among those behind the creation of trauma network in Arkansas since his time at the capital.  He says he's happy to see the interest from the legislative body as a whole, and the release of nearly 500-thousand dollars from the governor for this project.

"I think with the governor stepping in then we have an even better opportunity, with him at the helm saying this is how we are going to pay for it," said Sumpter.

The only level one trauma center near Arkansas currently is The Med in Memphis, Tennessee where they serve hundreds of Arkansans each and every year for a cost of several million dollars.

For that reason the State of Arkansas is working with The Med as they get ready to move forward with the creation of our own trauma network.

"They do a lot of charitable work for the people of Arkansas. We know that we haven't been able to fully fund them to the extent that we would like to, but we are working with them. They would be a part of any trauma system network that we are talking about," said Governor Mike Beebe.

He expects that once the legislative body reconvenes this fall the plans will pick up speed and hopefully funding as well.

"You can build a trauma system that gets you started and doesn't spend 35 or 50-million dollars. If you want all of the network, it's going to take a lot more money," said Beebe.

But at least for now the ball is rolling in the right direction.

"The first key component is communication. We're started on that. The next key component is the personnel necessary to deliver quality care," said Beebe.

Care that could save lives for less money.

We are told just how big the network will grow depends on the funds available and how much legislators are willing to commit to this project.

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