AUGUSTA — The Board of Maine Emergency Medical Services voted 15-1 Wednesday to approve a panel’s recommendation to continue nonneurosurgical trauma patient transfers to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Late last month, the Trauma Advisory Committee recommended that CMMC continue to receive trauma patient transfers from area hospitals who do not require neurosurgery services.

The panel’s recommendation was counter to a subcommittee’s prior recommendation that all trauma patient transfers from area hospitals and via LifeFlight of Maine discontinue immediately.

Hospital officials confirmed in December that it was ending its neurosurgical trauma services in 60 days. CMMC, which is one of three trauma centers in the state, will continue to have general and orthopedic trauma coverage.

The board also approved the Trauma Advisory Committee’s recommendation to review and revise the state’s trauma system plan, which was written over 20 years ago.

In a statement, Steve Littleson, the president and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare, CMMC’s parent company, praised the board’s decision, which he said, “could dramatically change how victims of traumatic injuries in Maine could access care.”

Littleson repeated that “this vote is especially important now, when hospitals across Maine are grappling with capacity challenges.” He expressed a similar sentiment following the Trauma Advisory Committee meeting on Dec. 28.

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