Congressman Bobby Rush and community activists say people are dying because the closest trauma center is too far away. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.
Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush on Monday said he'd introduced legislation seeking funds to build hospital trauma centers in places like Chicago's South Side that needs them the most.
Rush said the proposed Trauma Act would get federal money for Trauma One centers in areas where gunshot wound patients are numerous.
In his remarks to reporters, Rush spoke of his own son who died of a gunshot wound in 1999.
"He could have been saved if he had a trauma center located here at Jackson Park Hospital or any other hospital," the Chicago Democrat said.
Dr. William Dorsey said the south side emergency room sees 25,000 patients a year. Because it's a community hospital, it doesn't handle patients with gunshot wounds, noting the nearest Trauma One center is miles away.
Dorsey said travel times to trauma centers must be reduced.
Studies have shown gunshot patients who are more than five miles from a "trauma one" hospital -- those equipped to provide comprehensive emergency medical services to patients suffering traumatic injuries -- have a higher mortality rate than those with shorter travel times.