The “Golden Hour” is a term used to describe the first hour after a traumatic injury has occurred in which trauma patients will have better outcomes if they receive definitive care.
The “golden hour” concept is the justification for the current trauma system in the United States.
Out-of-hospital care concepts such as scoop and run, aeromedical transport, and trauma center designations with trauma teams in place are, in part, predicated on the idea that time is a critical factor in the management of injured patients.
Detrimentally, many Georgians live outside of the "golden hour" radius of 150 miles or less that experts say is critical to saving lives.
A trauma center is a specialized hospital distinguished by the immediate availability of specialized personnel, equipment and services to treat most severe and critical injuries.
This includes ready-to-go teams that perform immediate surgery and other necessary procedures for people with serious or life-threatening injuries, for example, due to a car crash, bad fall, or gun shot wounds.
The mission of a trauma center is to ensure continuity and quality of care for injured patients from the scene of injury through treatment at the trauma center and ultimately physical rehabilitation.
A trauma system involves the coordination of trauma care delivery among trauma centers, ambulances, helicopters, state and local governments and other healthcare resources. Currently, only 8 states have matured trauma systems.
Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin have found, evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of trauma systems comes from decreased mortality in states with mature systems.
The same study also found that better patient outcomes, even among minimally injured patients, may exist between lower tiered or undesignated centers and higher tiered centers, particularly among penetrating trauma patients.
Several other studies have found that the higher the level of trauma center designation, the better the outcome for the patient, and significantly reduced mortality in a large number of cases.
Areas Within 60 Minutes of a LEVEL I or II Trauma Center
On May 11, 2007, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed Senate Bill 60 and the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission became and effective entity July 1, 2007.
SB 60/Act 7:
To amend Title 31 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health, so as to establish the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission; to provide for its composition, membership, duties, and responsibilities; to create the Georgia Trauma Trust Fund and provide for its management and use; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
Under the Act, the duties and responsibilities of the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission are to create a trauma system for the State of Georgia and to act as the accountability mechanism for distribution of trauma system funds appropriated each fiscal year by the legislature.
In February 2009, the Georgia Trauma Commission created a vision for the Georgia Trauma System that required identified steps through a five-year plan.
Based on the American College of Surgeon’s Trauma System Consultation Program, the Georgia Trauma Commission discerned a need for a comprehensive state trauma system plan that defines the system, its subsystems and structure, and establishes procedures and standards for implementation, monitoring and system performance improvement.
According to the five-year plan, by 2014, the Georgia Trauma System will be comprised of regional systems and plans with a centralized and statewide Trauma Communications Center as the common component of a state trauma system.
Facility City County LEVEL I Grady Memorial Hospital Atlanta FULTON Medical Center of Central Ga. Inc. * Macon BIBB Medical College of Georgia * Augusta RICHMOND Memorial Health Univ. Medical Center * Savannah CHATHAM LEVEL II Athens Regional Medical Center Athens CLARKE Atlanta Medical Center Atlanta FULTON Floyd Medical Center Rome FLOYD Gwinnett Medical Center Lawrenceville GWINNETT Hamilton Medical Center Dalton WHITFIELD John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital Thomasville THOMAS Medical Center-Columbus Columbus MUSCOGEE North Fulton Regional Hospital Roswell FULTON LEVEL III Walton Regional Medical Center Monroe WALTON LEVEL IV Lower Oconee Community Hospital Glenwood WHEELER Morgan Memorial Hospital Madison MORGAN Taylor Regional Hospital Hawkinsville PULASKI Pediatric Trauma Centers (Designated Under Level II Criteria) Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta@ Egleston Atlanta DEKALB Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta @ Scottish Rite Atlanta FULTON Designated Adult Level 1 Trauma Centers with Pediatric Commitment
On November 2, 2010, Georgia citizens had the opportunity to increase the funding to Georgia’s trauma centers by voting “yes” on Amendment 2.
Expected revenue from the $10 fee on vehicle tags was expected to be around $80 million.
Amendment 2 appeared on the ballot as follows: ( ) YES Shall the Constitution of Georgia be ( ) NO amended so as to impose an annual $10.00 trauma charge on certain passenger motor vehicles in this state for the purpose of funding trauma care?
An informational campaign to encourage Georgia voters to pass Amendment 2 on the November 2, 2010 ballot.
The Yes 2 Save Lives Coalition was composed of concerned citizens and businesses in Georgia, hospitals, organizations representing first responders, and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
Fundraising came from medical and emergency medical services (EMS) groups, businesses, Georgia citizens, trauma hospitals, and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
The $1 million dollar informational ad campaign aimed at Georgia voters consisted of rallies around the state, lapel stickers, bumper stickers, yard signs, informational brochures, sixty-second radio ads, a four-page Pro-Amendment 2 direct mailer, and television advertisements.
While in progress, random polling of voters found a gradual increase of favorable opinions about the amendment.