Judge Denies Restraining Order To Delay Closure of King/Drew Medical Center Trauma Center
A federal judge on Thursday for the second time denied a request for a temporary restraining order to prevent Los Angeles County from closing Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center's trauma center, the Los Angeles Times reports. Friends of King/Drew filed the request (Chong, Los Angeles Times, 12/3).
A judge in late November denied an earlier application for a temporary restraining order by Friends of King/Drew, which was included in an October civil rights lawsuit. The judge at the time ruled that the restraining order petition was premature because the county board had not yet voted on the proposal to close the trauma center (California Healthline, 11/23).
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 23 voted 4-0 to close the trauma center at King/Drew. Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke abstained from the vote.
The board also voted unanimously to approve an amendment stating that the county hopes to restore trauma services at King/Drew in the future. According to Brathwaite Burke, the amendment clarifies that the trauma services would resume after King/Drew secures its accreditation and funding and makes improvements to operations.
After the King/Drew trauma unit is closed, patients will be treated at either California Hospital, St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood or Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance (California Healthline, 11/24).
In the restraining order petition, advocates argued that the court must intervene immediately to avoid denying emergency medical services to community residents (Los Angeles Times, 12/3).
County officials have begun reducing services at King/Drew's trauma center, and it is expected to be closed by Feb. 1, the AP/Fresno Bee reports (AP/Fresno Bee, 12/3).
KPCC's "KPCC News" on Wednesday reported on the trauma center opening. The segment includes comments from county Department of Health Services Director Thomas Garthwaite; Carol Meyer, head of the county Emergency Medical Services Agency; and Jack Needleman, associate professor in the Department of Health Services at the University of California-Los Angeles' School of Public Health (Rabe, "KPCC News," KPCC, 12/1). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.