News / Health

New Procedures Improve Chances for Trauma Victims

New ER Procedures Improve Survival Chances for Trauma Victimsi
X
April 22, 2013 1:39 PM
As cases of gun violence fuel the debate over tougher gun laws across the United States, there is one statistic that is positive. Hospitals in many states are seeing fewer gunshot injuries according to doctors at one California trauma center. And for those who suffer from these injuries or other severe trauma, doctors are improving their chances of survival. Elizabeth Lee has the details from Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center.
Elizabeth Lee
As cases of gun violence fuel the debate over tougher gun laws across the United States, there is one statistic that is positive. Hospitals in many states are seeing fewer gunshot injuries according to doctors at one California trauma center. And for those who suffer from these injuries or other severe trauma, doctors are improving their chances of survival.

At one of the largest trauma centers in the United States, a multi-disciplinary team of doctors and nurses works quickly to save the life of a 60-year-old man suffering from multiple stab wounds. Dr. Peep Talving is the trauma surgeon on call.

“When he was closing his shop there was a robbery, and they stabbed him. He got six stab wounds to the chest, one to the abdomen and two to the neck,” said Talving.

Methodical processes

Dr. Demetrios Demetriades, director of Trauma Services at the Los Angeles County - University of Southern California Trauma Center, said when someone is severely hurt, members of the trauma team are activated.

"Everybody in our center is expected to be in the emergency room within five minutes of activation. This means that they are there before the patient arrives. And each person has a dedicated duty," he said.

Demetriades said this methodical way of treating patients at a trauma center has lowered the preventable trauma deaths to less than two percent.

Other advancements also have improved survival rates. One of them is a change from having paramedics stabilize the patient at the scene to what is called “scoop and run.”

“Don’t waste any valuable time trying to stabilize the patient. Put him in the ambulance and take him to the hospital to the trauma center immediately without any delay,” said Demetriades.

Different treatments

Talving said that is especially critical with gunshot and stab wounds. “Particularly with the penetrating trauma because if you got a vascular injury to the chest torso, there is nothing else than surgery that will stop the bleeding.”  

That is the case for the elderly stabbing victim. Talving had to operate to stop the internal bleeding. The concept of “scoop and run” also is one of the reasons why 18-year-old Juan Gallardo survived a drive-by shooting. Demetriades described the injuries.

“This patient has a gunshot injury to the heart and lung. Twenty years ago he would have been dead and buried - had memorial services every year,” he said.

After surgery, though, Gallardo is returning home two weeks after the shooting. “I’m planning on going back to school and go to church.”

In another change, the hospital operates selectively on patients with gunshots to the abdomen - especially if no vital organs are hit. Not operating reduces medical complications after surgery.

Additionally, in a lesson learned from the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, Demetriades said there's a new procedure instead of the traditional method of giving trauma patients large amounts of intravenous fluids such as saline.

“Now we give blood products. We restrict all types of fluids. We give fresh blood products and again this has made a very significant difference,” he said.

Changes like these have improved a patient's chances of survival in trauma centers by as much as 25%. As for the elderly man who was stabbed, he is expected to make a full recovery.

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid