UChicago Medicine's trauma center treats 64 patients in first week

The University of Chicago Medical Center opened its level 1 adult trauma center May 1. In its first week of operation, the center treated 64 patients with traumatic injuries arising from gunshots, car crashes and burns, according to the Chicago Tribune.

About 58 percent of the trauma patients were rushed to the hospital with injuries caused by car accidents, falls and assaults. The other 42 percent suffered wounds from gunshots, stabbings or similar incidents. The first patient was treated at noon on May 1.

The opening of the trauma center marks the first time in 27 years the South Side of Chicago has a hospital with a level 1 adult trauma center. Prior to the grand opening, trauma victims were forced to travel up to 10 miles to receive trauma care at hospitals such as Chicago-based Northwestern Memorial Hospital or Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill.

Establishing the level 1 trauma center came after several years of pleas from South Side activists.

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