Trip Follows Request from the Chinese Government
UM trauma specialists going to China include (from l to r): neurotrauma critical care nurse Karen Karash and physicians Geoffrey Sheinfeld, Thomas Grissom and Thomas Scalea.
A team of trauma specialists from the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center will travel to China on June 6, 2008, to help victims of the devastating earthquake. The team of trauma physicians and nurses will be working with doctors at West China Hospital in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. The modern, 4,300-bed hospital, is considered to be one of China’s top hospitals for trauma care. More than 2,000 critically injured survivors of the earthquake have been cared for in that facility alone, located about 50 miles from the epicenter of the quake.
The University of Maryland Shock Trauma team is the first officially-invited U.S. medical team to assist the Chinese following the earthquake, which occurred May 12. The invitation came from the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Zhou Wenzhong. The Shock Trauma team expects to be in China for 10 days.
“We appreciate the opportunity to support the Chinese people during this very difficult time,” says Thomas M. Scalea, M.D., physician in chief of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and head of its Program in Trauma.
The Shock Trauma Center is recognized as one of the world’s leaders in caring for people with brain and spinal cord trauma and crush injuries. In addition to Dr. Scalea, the team members going to China are Thomas Grissom, M.D., a specialist in critical care and anesthesiology, Geoffrey Sheinfeld, M.D., a specialist in critical care and nephrology, Karen Karash, R.N., a neurotrauma critical care nurse and Peter Hu, chief technologist responsible for telemedicine consultations that will be conducted during the trip.
“We expect to see many patients with head and spine injuries from being crushed by debris, as well as compromised kidney function and a host of other trauma-related medical problems,” says Dr. Scalea, who adds, “We hope that our consultations will be helpful to the Chinese medial professionals who have been working around the clock to save the lives of earthquake victims.”
Leaders of the Shock Trauma Center have been building relationships with members of the Chinese Ministry of Health and several trauma hospitals in China since 2004. These include Shanghai East Hospital, Shanghai # 6 People’s Hospital and Peking Union Hospital. Shock Trauma co-hosted an international conference in Shanghai with the Chinese Emergency Medicine & Trauma Associations in 2007 that brought together experts to discuss advanced trauma and critical care.
The Shock Trauma Center, located at the University of Maryland Medical Center, cares for about 7,700 critically injured people each year and, in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Program in Trauma, serves as the core of the state’s EMS/ trauma system.
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