OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A statewide trauma-care system is being built to treat the more than 4,300 trauma victims who require urgent care each year.
Public health officials believe a fully implemented trauma system could save one in five of the lives now lost. More than 700 people die from trauma each year in the state. Forty percent of major trauma victims are injured in motor vehicle mishaps.
Voters approved a cigarette tax increase last fall with revenue directed to various health-related programs, including improving the state's trauma care system and a cancer research center.
Development of the statewide system will take about two years. When complete, it will involve 194 state ambulance services, several hospital-based helicopter ambulance services and 104 hospitals with licensed emergency rooms.