Stockton Hospital unable to treat major trauma patients

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The county’s only trauma center hospital can’t accept major trauma patients.

Staffing issues causing the San Joaquin General Hospital to turn patients away.  The hospital can’t treat victims of shootings, stabbings and crash injuries. The two hospitals that major trauma patients will now be transported to are the Doctors Medical Center in Modesto and the Memorial Medical Center in Sacramento.

Craig Younnel a marketing coordinator for the hospital responded through email, “Our trauma center is open and fully functional, but due to the unexpected amount of local trauma cases coming to our door, we have had to divert many cases to other hospital trauma centers outside our county.” Younnel added, “We will  have a public response next week on the designation status of our SJGH Trauma Center.”

“It’s horrible,” said Jennifer Evans, a Delta College student. “Hospitals are supposed to help and treat people and now that they can’t help certain patients, it’s scary.”

This has raised a lot of questions throughout the county and it has one Stockton family looking for answers.

Jose Nunez Jr., 32 died on Oct. 4 due to a gunshot to the head. Nunez would have been transported to the closest trauma center, the San Joaquin General Hospital which was 13 minutes away but they cannot treat victims of shootings.

Instead Nunez was taken to the Doctors Medical Center in Modesto which is 27 miles away, about a 33-minute drive.

“I just hope they can solve the problem as soon as possible,” said Christian Medina, a Stockton resident. “It’s not right that they are not able to help some people.  People in the area have to be concerned.”

Stockton has some of the highest crime rates in the country.

According to areavibes.com, the Stockton crime rates are 84 percent higher than the California mean and 96 percent higher than the nation’s mean.

The typical number of daily violent crimes in Stockton is 3.17 times the California average and it is 3.63 times more than the daily national average.

The hospital has not been treating patients of major trauma since the beginning of this month and with the high crime rate in the city, the people need the hospital to solve the staffing issue quickly before this happens again.

“I hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else because no family should have to go through that.  Hopefully the problem can be solved sooner rather than later,” said Evans.