News / Health

New Procedures Improve Chances for Trauma Victims

New ER Procedures Improve Survival Chances for Trauma Victimsi
X
April 22, 2013
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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid