POMONA (CBSLA.com) — The Southland could be getting a new trauma center — if a Los Angeles County Supervisor gets her way.
There are plans to build a new trauma center in the San Gabriel Valley, the first one in a decade.
KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo says a recent study shows several areas locally are underserved when it comes to trauma centers.
A fiery crash in 2013 left nine people injured — some of them critically — in Pomona. But when seconds mattered, the closest trauma center was 30 miles away.
LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis says airlifting patients is not enough. She says it’s time to bring back a trauma center to eastern LA County.
“Over the last decade we have seen a number of these trauma centers, hospitals close down and partly because funding was limited,” Solis said.
Pomona Valley Medical Center confirms it could reopen its trauma center. And county officials are reportedly drafting a contract to help pay for unit.
Claremont City Councilman Sam Pedroza supports the idea — and for a very personal reason.
Four years ago he was in a cycling accident and had to be airlifted for treatment.
“It was pretty bad,” Pedroza said.
Even though Pomona Valley Hospital was just down the street he needed to go to a facility better equipped with trauma.
“I was able to get there [the airlifted hospital] in time enough so I didn’t have prolonged injuries. Some folks are not as lucky,” Pedroza said.
For the last two decades patients in need of the a trauma center in the East San Gabriel Valley have been flown to County-USC. The same goes for those in the Pomona Valley.
Fajardo was unable to find out how much the new trauma center could potentially cost, but some funding would come from bond money and Measure B.
“I’m happy that Supervisors Antonovich and Knabe and my fellow members are very supportive of us identifying Pomona Valley Hospital as one of those [potentially] unique trauma centers. But we still have to go through the process,” Solis said.
It’s a process that could literally mean life for the most critically hurt.