Letter to the Editor: Keep OPMC trauma center


This is in response to the story about Orange Park Medical Center and the Tallahassee Judge who found it to be an error to open the trauma center and deemed it necessary to recommend that the “provisional approval” for an additional trauma center for this area be recinded.

It appears, Clay County has been determined not to be a full class of residents of Florida who are unable to make decisions on their own. When a traumatic event occurs in the south end of Clay County it is approximately 18 – 30 miles to Orange Park and 48 to 75 miles to UF Health in Jacksonville. Since pivotal time is less than one hour for the possibility of survival in most instances of trauma, it seems ludicrous to force patients to risk a possible 1-1 ½ hour ride when help can be given within 30 to 45 minutes.

I have lived in Clay County since 1989 and have used the services of OPMC many times. They have always been professional, clear on their care, outstanding nurses, and in-house-physicians as well as the local doctors who are part of the county health care system. I have also had dealings with the other hospitals serving the Jacksonville and Clay County areas and as far as I am concerned OPMC is my choice for hospital care.

In 2012, I was rushed to OPMC because I couldn’t breathe rendering me partially unconscious by the time I arrived. It was determined my body was filling with fluid and I would have surely suffocated and drowned in my own fluids. That led to a diagnosis of a heart condition that required open heart surgery a few weeks later in 2013. I am now fully recovered. Had I been taken to UF Health in Jacksonville at that 2012 incident, I firmly believe I would not be here today. Now, because of the quick thinking and fast action of the personnel I am still alive and kicking.

I believe that if there is a ‘cap’ on trauma centers in a state where so many of the elderly live, it is a detriment to the health and welfare of everyone in 4 of the 5 counties. There should be a trauma center for each county. Not just one for 5 counties as is stated in the ruling of Judge Watkins.

The testimony of UF Health has shown that the money is more important than the life of the patient.

I wonder if the Judge has ever been to our neck of the woods or how long does it take him to get assistance?

Karin Callaway



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