Temple, TX — With summer officially underway, trauma services at McLane Children’s and Scott & White Memorial Hospital – Temple, both part of Baylor Scott & White Health, are prepared for a busy season and a potential increase in the number of trauma cases that come through their doors. According to the American College of Surgeons, traumatic injuries and accidents are the leading causes of death among children and adults under age of 44.
“We typically notice an increase in traumatic injuries, particularly among the ‘high-risk’ age group [teens and young adults] which usually begins in May,” said Danny Little, MD, pediatric surgeon at McLane Children’s Hospital. “Now that children are out for summer break and more will engage in outdoor activities, the potential for an accident or incident becomes greater. Since April we’ve seen a growing number of motor vehicle accidents involving children, as well as accidents involving bicycles, and injuries related to dog bites.”
According to the American College of Surgeons, pediatric trauma is the leading cause of death for children over the age of one. In 2012, Scott & White facilities saw more than 16,000 children in our emergency rooms, with approximately 2000 trauma related visits to the McLane Children’s emergency department. McLane Children’s, is the only designated pediatric Level II Trauma Center between Dallas and Austin, verified by the American College of Surgeons, to serve the needs of children.
Patients in Central Texas have access to some of the highest-level trauma care available to handle unexpected situations. Scott & White Memorial Hospital, the only designated Level I Trauma Center between Dallas and Austin, is designated by the Texas Department of Health and verified by the American College of Surgeons as offering the highest level of expertise and specialized resources for critically ill and injured patients.
“Trauma care involves an integrated, collaborative, team-centered care approach led by a group of trauma surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, critical care, orthopedic surgery, plastic/reconstructive surgery, neurosurgery, physical rehabilitation, nursing and several other areas that are ready to assemble around the clock to care for injured patients,” said Matthew Davis, MD, FACS, medical director for the trauma program for Scott & White Memorial.
Blood Donations Needed
Trauma centers at Scott & White Memorial and McLane Children’s Hospital are designed to help families through any traumatic injury. In addition to the team of experts, there is another aspect to trauma care – blood supply. Trauma care often requires the need for a blood transfusion in order to treat the injury and perform the necessary surgeries. The Scott & White Blood Center is the only hospital-based blood donation center in the region which allows for better access to an immediate blood supply in traumatic or crisis situations.
“We never know when someone’s going to need a significant amount of blood, particularly with a traumatic incident, so our inventories always have to be robust for all blood types,” said Walter Linz, M.D., medical director of the Scott & White Blood Center. “With two trauma centers located close to each other, we always have to be prepared for the unexpected. The Blood Center supply gets hit particularly hard during the summer leading to urgent, and sometimes, critical needs for blood donations. We strongly encourage those who can donate blood to take the opportunity to put a unit on the shelf so we are prepared for whatever trauma that might come to us this summer unexpectedly.”
Physicians, medical staff, and the community play an important role helping others survive and recover after traumatic injuries. Community support is vital to care from the point of the patient’s arrival to the point of discharge.