Health Subcommittee evaluates U.S. trauma system
The hearing included reviews of the latest reports and recommendations from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). Attendees also discussed the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2016 (H.R. 4365).
According to the reports, traumatic injuries are among the top causes of death for U.S. citizens under 46 years old. Approximately 30,000 people die each year from preventable trauma injuries within the U.S.
“To ensure our ability to continue providing immediate and life-saving care, it is imperative that the Congress amend the Controlled Substances Act to preserve our ability to utilize standing orders as provided for in H.R. 4365,” Dr. Brent Myers, president-elect of the National Association of EMS Physicians, said. “And, it is essential that the Congress enact this vital legislation now, before a regulation is promulgated that would endanger patients.”
In 2013, such injuries cost $670 billion in medical expenses, lost productivity and economic loss. For the sake of patients and the economy, it is crucial that this health issue be resolved.
“I want to ask everyone to imagine for a moment that a loved one has been injured and is in excruciating pain, but the responding EMS personnel trained to treat them are helpless to do anything,” Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) said. “Under current law, this could become a reality. Congressional action is needed immediately. That is why I authored the bipartisan Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act with my colleague, G.K. Butterfield, to clarify existing law so EMS personnel can continue to administer life-saving medications to patients.”