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Las Vegas Faced a Massacre. Did It Have Enough Trauma Centers?

By Kaiser Health News  
   October 05, 2017

Despite the expanding population of Clark County, which more than doubled to 2.2 million in the past 25 years, University Medical Center has been Las Vegas’ only Level I trauma center since 1992.

This article first appeared October 04, 2017 on Kaiser Health News.

By Julie Appleby and Phil Galewitz

Las Vegas is not only a glittering strip of casinos and hotels but a fast-growing region with more than 2 million residents — and one hospital designated as a highest-level trauma center.

The deadly shooting Sunday that killed at least 59 and sent more than 500 people to area hospitals raised questions about whether that’s enough.

Las Vegas is not the only big city with just one such trauma center. Seattle and Nashville, among others, also are in this category, according to the American Trauma Society, a professional and advocacy organization focused on improving trauma care.

Casey Nolan, a hospital consultant and managing director of Navigant Consulting in Washington, D.C., said what matters most is not the number of high-level centers, but the degrees of coordination across the area’s medical network, including the first responders.

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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