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Bill to help local trauma centers advances

7:12 PM, Mar 12, 2014   |    comments
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Bradenton, Florida -- Three trauma centers being challenged in court may remain open under a new bill making its way through the Florida House.

The centers are Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Pasco County and Blake Medical Center in Bradenton.

Other hospitals such as Tampa General, St. Joe's and Bayfront Medical Center say the state improperly approved the trauma centers before the new rules for approving trauma centers had been written.

A spokesperson for Blake Medical Center says since opening two years ago its staff has treated more than 2,400 patients, and estimate 66 of those would not have survived if they had to fly to Tampa or St Pete.

Pano Birbili's mother was in a serious car accident last year and is glad Blake had a trauma center close to home to treat her.

"If she had to wait the extra time for helicopter to get there who knows if she'd still be alive. With the Trauma Center at Blake it probably saved her life."

The House Bill and a similar one in the Senate would grandfather any trauma center that's been open for at least 12 months. To stay open the centers would have to submit an application to the American College of Surgeons Committee and go through a site visit by June 31, 2015.


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