Trauma care training in jeopardy?

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - When seconds and minutes matter, local health-care officials say the latest training for first response is critical.

"Within 3 to 5 minutes without oxygen you get brain damage," says David Bonner, who is the administrator for the East Central Trauma Care Region. It's an agency that serves: Lauderdale, Clark, Kemper, Newton, Neshoba and Noxubee counties. Because proper response to trauma cases can mean the difference between life and death, Bonner says his agency has teamed up with Rush and Anderson hospitals in Meridian, Meridian Community College and Teleflex to provide a special four class training for doctors, nurses and paramedics who work at or with the seven hospitals that his agency serves.

"It's a really important issue, and it's an issue that requires constant training," says Rush Foundation Hospital Administrator, Jason Payne.

However, sponsors say the classes could be in jeopardy in the future due to funding cuts that are being considered.

"We've seen some cuts, but we're somewhat at the mercy of the state department of health right now and hoping that they will indeed fund us as best they can," says Bonner.

The cost for the classes is roughly $1,000 per person. This is a price which sponsors say is worth paying.

"There are kids graduating and their siblings, parents or grandparents would not be at those graduations, but for that trauma program," says Wanda Cooper, who is the Vice-President for Professional Services at Anderson Regional Medical Center. "The funding issue is very concerning. We need that funding."

Mississippi lawmakers are expected to return to the state capitol for a special session to address money matters. The governor will have to call the session. He will also decide the agenda for it.