KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Being Taken To Level 1 Trauma Center Can Boost Survival Rate By Up To 30 Percent

Las Vegas only has one of these "gold standard" centers, but it's not the only big city to have so few. Experts say that in situations such as Sunday's mass shooting what matters most is not the number of high-level centers, but the degree of coordination across a region's medical network.

USA Today: Is Your Area Prepared In The Event Of Mass Casualties, Disaster?
While the entire state of Nevada has only one Level 1 trauma center, determining whether it or other cities can cope with a disaster like Sunday's Las Vegas shooting rampage there depends on more than mere numbers. Health care systems' ability to treat mass injuries and casualties depend upon the number and type of hospitals, their capacity and preparedness and system wide plans to coordinate the response, emergency care experts say. (O'Donnell, 10/4)

Kaiser Health News: Las Vegas Faced A Massacre. Did It Have Enough Trauma Centers?
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. (Appleby and Galewitz, 10/4)

NPR: Why Counting Gunshot Victims In Las Vegas Is Challenging
Dr. Christopher Fisher was working at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center just off the Las Vegas strip on Sunday evening when the patients starting arriving. "It did look a bit like a war zone, can't say that it didn't," he remembers. "Frantic families, blood in the hallways." People came in so grievously injured and so many at a time that Fisher, who is the medical head of trauma services for the hospital, and his colleagues used markers, writing directly on patients, to do triage. (Hersher, 10/4)

The Washington Post: Why Blood Donations Spiked After Las Vegas Mass Shooting
It happens after every disaster, whether natural or human-made. Before the floods recede or the crime tape is removed, hundreds will line up to donate their blood. Less than 24 hours after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, a line of people twisted from a blood center around several city blocks. According to one woman's tweet, it took seven hours or more to get to the front of the line. Time and time again it's the same story. When two bombs shredded scores of runners and fans at the 2103 Boston Marathon, media outlets reported that some participants who had crossed the finish line kept running — right to Massachusetts General, around the corner, to donate blood. (Nutt, 10/4)

Stat: Nevada's Mental Health System Was In Dire Straits. Then Came Las Vegas
Nevada’s mental health system was already overstretched before the carnage on Sunday night at a country music festival here. Now, thousands of victims, survivors, and their loved ones — as well as first responders and local workers who witnessed the horror — are expected to need mental health services in the coming weeks and months. ... Nevada ranked last in the U.S. by measures of access to mental health care in a report released last year by the nonprofit group Mental Health America. Mental health professionals in the state said they’re routinely forced to turn patients away or add them to the end of long waiting lists. (Robbins, 10/4)

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