You might not know the service is there until you actually need it. The Georgia Regents Trauma Center was the first level 1 trauma center in the state of Georgia.
There is no such thing as a typical night at the Georgia Regents Trauma Center.
Every night, trauma specialists are waiting to save lives.
“I feel like there is a lot of impact in this area… it's really dramatic impact. Somebody can go from just about death's door to walking out of the hospital. And you made that happen, along with your coworkers. You can't beat that feeling in medicine,” says Trauma Surgeon Steven Holsten.
Thousands of patients go through the emergency room doors every year and the ones with life threatening injuries have a significantly better chance of surviving just because they are brought to the trauma center.
It doesn't matter how they get there, it's just a matter of how long it will take.
Level 1 patients, like one man we saw during our night there, need to have their injuries treated fast. EMT's report that the man was thrown from his car that rolled over several times. It's up to the trauma team to keep him alive.
“It starts with the airway and maintaining it because if you have circulating blood without oxygen, it's pointless, right? So the next is breathing. Are we getting the oxygen to blood. And then the third is… are we keeping the blood in the system? And so… once we address all those needs then we check disability. Which stands for… do they have a brain injury or a spinal cord injury that they have to address,” says Holsten.
Holsten and the other trauma doctors do what they can to keep the man stabilized. They say although his injuries are severe, he will live. But patients keep coming.
EMT's come through the door with a woman who isn't breathing… her life is slipping away. Paramedic Wes Davidson immediately jumps on the gurney to start chest compressions.
The trauma team is ready, and that's where Staff Nurse Maura Bailey takes over. Bailey and the others try to keep the woman alive, but it's too late, her life has slipped away.
“When it's someone that lived a full life and is 90 years old you think I hope they had a great life. I hope this wasn't too traumatic and when it someone that is really young and you know, not lived a full life, you think this is awful,” says Bailey.
“You can't take everything home with you, so you know, it's somebody's family member every time they come through that door. So, in the initial seconds and minutes we start… it's our family. So we start working on them and we do everything we possibly can,” says Davidson.