Two trauma patients will personally thank the men and women who saved their lives
A traumatic injury can happen in an instant. It is a moment that will forever change the lives of the victims and their families. But it's also what happens in the first moments after the injury that can make a huge difference in these people's lives. In Maryland, a trauma call triggers a coordinated network of highly skilled caregivers, all racing against the clock and striving toward the same goal: saving a life.
On May 22, more than 1,600 people will gather at the Baltimore Convention Center to honor the dedicated professionals at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center and Maryland's Emergency Medical System. The annual Shock Trauma Gala, "A Night for Heroes," pays tribute to the men and women who work around the clock, every day of the year, to save the most critically injured patients.
The event's Hero Awards ceremony highlights two dramatic cases from the last year. The re-telling of each story provides a dramatic illustration of the number of people involved in saving a life.
A total of 81 people will receive Hero Awards at the gala, 49 of them for saving the life of Codey James of Centreville. The 18-year-old was driving to get horse feed on a July evening last summer when he lost control of his pick-up truck on a wet road. The truck rolled over three times, throwing James partially out of the rear cab window. The truck landed on its roof, pinning James underneath.
A firefighter who lived nearby responded to the scene directly and made a second call to 911 to request a Med-Evac helicopter. Other emergency personnel soon arrived, and rescuers lifted the truck off the unconscious teenager. Trooper 6, the state police Med-Evac helicopter out of Centreville, flew James to Shock Trauma.
While James had several broken ribs, the doctors' biggest concern was possible neurological damage. With the truck crushing his chest, James's brain had been deprived of oxygen for an unknown period of time. James had swelling of his brain and increasing cranial pressure. To relieve this pressure and avoid possible surgery, the critical care team decided to try something new. They placed James on an innovative "tilt table," which raised the teenager into a more vertical position.
James was one of the first patients to use the tilt table, and it proved to be a success. The pressure inside James's skull went down and he didn't need surgery. Twenty-six days after the crash, James left Shock Trauma. He's now doing well and preparing to start a new job.
"The case of Codey James exemplifies the amazing coordination, response and critical care expertise of Shock Trauma and Maryland's EMS system," says Thomas Scalea, M.D., physician-in-chief at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and director of the Program in Trauma at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
During the ceremony, James will stand on stage with Dr. Scalea, who will present an award to each person who played a vital role in saving the teenager's life. They include everyone from 911 operators to EMS personnel, flight paramedics, doctors, nurses, therapists and others.
"Seeing a trauma patient meet the many people involved in his care is a very moving moment, and it's one of the things that makes the Shock Trauma gala so special," says Greg Devou, executive vice president of CareFirst and co-chairman of the Shock Trauma Gala.
The second case to be highlighted at the gala involves a Carroll County man injured in an industrial incident. Thirty-two people will receive Hero awards for their roles in helping to save that man's life. The Shock Trauma Center team cares for about 7,300 patients each year; Shock Trauma has a 97 percent survival rate.
"The expertise of the Shock Trauma staff and their EMS partners is world-renowned," says John W. Ashworth III, Chief Executive Officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center. "At the gala, you can see first-hand why they earned that reputation. The gala gives us a chance to thank the dedicated doctors, nurses and other staff as well as the thousands of emergency medical service providers throughout the state."
Also during this year's gala, members of the U.S. Air Force will be recognized for their training partnership with Shock Trauma. As part of the two-year-old program, Air Force doctors and nurses rotate through Shock Trauma each month for specialized training. These medical professionals bring these new skills to the front lines, including treating wounded soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Funds raised at the gala will benefit patient care services at the Shock Trauma Center and will also support the state EMS educational fund, the Maryland Fireman's Association scholarship fund and the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
"This wonderful gala would not be possible without the generous support of many individuals and corporate sponsors. We want to thank our corporate sponsors, Apple Ford and TESSCO Technologies," adds Devou.
The gala will be held from 6:30 pm to midnight on May 22 at the Baltimore Convention Center on Pratt Street. Tickets cost $250 per person and include cocktails, a seated dinner, dancing and live music. Those interested in purchasing tickets to the gala may call 410-328-4438.
For patient inquiries, call 1-800-492-5538 or click here to make an appointment.