Ala. Agency Says Trauma Care Has Cut Crash Deaths

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A new report by Alabama health officials says the rate of traffic deaths has fallen drastically since the state established a trauma network in 2007.

Reports say the numbers released by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association show deaths from vehicle crashes dropped from 27.64 per 100,000 people in 2006 to a rate of 18.05 per 100,000 people in 2011.

Hospitals designated as trauma centers have specialists on-call around the clock to treat patients with life-threatening injuries. Officials say 80 percent of Alabama's trauma cases come from car crashes, so they give a good snapshot of how the system is working.

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