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U.S. House passes Trauma Care Act of 2007
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Trauma Care Systems Planning and Development Act (H.R. 727), which, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), will increase the availability of trauma care across the United States and thus improve the survival rate for patients suffering from traumatic injuries.
The Trauma Care Systems Planning and Development Act, originally authorized in 1990 and funded from 1992 through 2005, received no funding in fiscal years 2006 and 2007. The new bill authorizes $12 million in funding to be distributed through grants to all 50 states in fiscal year 2008.
"H.R. 727 promotes the development of appropriate modern systems of trauma care through the sharing of information among agencies and individuals, as well as the collection and dissemination of trauma data among states," says Brian F. Keaton, MD, FACEP, president, American College of Emergency Physicians. "In addition, it provides seed money to states — through federal grants — for the provision of emergency medical services."
H.R. 727 also emphasizes the need to integrate or create trauma systems in rural areas, Keaton says, noting that "the bill requires the secretary of Health and Human Services to update the model plan for the designation of trauma centers and triage, transfer, and transportation policies that may be adopted for guidance by the state, taking into account standards set forth by ACEP, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Academy of Pediatrics."