Los Angeles County health officials, rushing to fill gaps that have opened in the regional emergency medical network in the San Fernando Valley, are considering installing a trauma center at county-owned Olive View Medical Center in Sylmar.
The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Commission has endorsed a proposal to upgrade the hospital's emergency room to trauma-center standards. The final decision will rest with county supervisors.
Virginia Hastings, head of trauma care services for the county Department of Health Services, said she saw no reason not to convert Olive View's emergency room to trauma care "as soon as possible."
Almost all hospitals maintain emergency rooms, but to meet county standards as trauma care centers they must have a wide range of equipment, keep a surgeon on duty 24 hours a day and have specialized surgeons on call.