SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — It’s the leading cause of death in people under the age of 44, traumatic injury.
That’s why Trauma Awareness Month is of the utmost importance for health professionals at Memorial Health.
“I think trauma awareness month is crucial because it not only helps educated the public on the issue of trauma in general, but it also helps us to highlight the injury prevention aspects to trauma as well,” says James Dunne, Chief of Trauma & Surgical Critical Care at Memorial Health.
Dunne often deals with patients on some of the worst days of their lives.
From traumatic brain injuries, life-threatening chest injuries or complex orthopedic injuries, it can often be hard on these doctors’ mental health but is crucial to fulfilling the needs of patients in emergency situations.
“Critical care medicine and trauma, unfortunately, have a high burnout rate from health care providers because you’re dealing with the sickest of the sick and sometimes these are 18-year-old kids,” Dunne said. “A lot of us are married or have kids ourselves and that’s probably the hardest thing is when you do everything right and the patient still doesn’t make it and it’s the same age as your son or daughter.”
Memorial Health currently operates as a level one trauma center, meaning there’s a certified trauma surgeon on-site 24/7 in case of emergency, as well as an open operating room to ensure those patients that are in critical need of care receive it immediately.
“Trauma centers are unique facilities because they have the resources to immediately care for the severely and critically injured. We have a team in-house 24/7 on standby, ready to receive the critically injured trauma patient,” Dunne said.
With the number of mass casualties that the country has seen recently, doctors say they drill two to three times a year in case that very scenario ever happens here in Savannah.