model of trauma care, however, is one from which
we can all learn.
The Shock Trauma Center is designated through
the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services
as the only Primary Adult Resource Center in the state
of Maryland and averages nearly 8,000 patients annu-ally.* This freestanding trauma center encompasses a
13-bay trauma resuscitation unit to manage trauma-activated patients from the entire state of Maryland.
This volume of care is supported by a trauma system
that uses Maryland State Police helicopters to transport
trauma patients throughout the state, and ground units
for transport within the vicinity of a trauma center.
Funding for the Maryland trauma system comes
from a $17 fee assessed on motor vehicle registrations.
This revenue is used to cover the costs of the trauma
system, including the Maryland State Police medical
helicopter program. In addition, trauma hospitals in
the state are divided in an effort to preserve quality
and volume at all trauma facilities to ensure all patients
are treated at the facility with the most appropriate
A catalyst for change
In June, the American Medical Association House of
Delegates approved the ACS-led resolution to support
the concepts set forth in the Hartford Consensus™,
encouraging the education of official first responders
(police, fire, emergency medical services) and poten-
tial immediate responders (civilian bystanders) about
bleeding control and tourniquet use. This type of public
education is a revolutionary step in saving lives and
turning bystanders of traumatic events into lifesaving
heroes. This initiative is just another example of why
the ACS is at the forefront of trauma care and why sur-
geons need to be leaders in advocating for legislation
on trauma care funding and systems development.
I finished my observation shift 17 hours before the
deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history at the Pulse
nightclub in Orlando, FL, on June 12. Thankfully, the
Orlando Regional Medical Center, an ACS-verified
Level I trauma center, having prepared through drills,
was ready. As the hospital was within the immediate
vicinity of the scene, several lives were saved. We can’t
allow tragic events such as this one to act as the catalyst for lawmakers to begin thinking about trauma
care—the funding, education, systems planning, and
preparation must happen well in advance.
In the last several years, the College has sent a
trauma-focused message to Capitol Hill. Now, it’s
time for us to bring legislative leaders to our trauma
facilities. The only way to truly understand the vital
role trauma surgeons and trauma centers play in keeping Americans healthy is to show our leaders this
reality firsthand. Outside of health care, it’s difficult
for people to think about or plan for a health care
emergency, but when the unthinkable happens, it’s
imperative to have a well-funded and well-equipped
trauma system in place. ♦
*Cohn M. New University of Maryland Shock Trauma tower opens.
Baltimore Sun. November 8, 2013. Available at: www.baltimoresun.
html. Accessed July 11, 2016.