Emergency Department: Doctors, Nurses and Paramedics Push Gurney / Stretcher with Seriously Injured Patient towards the Operating Room

Celebrating 30 Years of Trauma Service to the Trauma District 

Trauma Services District, located at Gulf Coast Medical Center is celebrating 30 years of serving Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry and Glades residents and visitors. Exceptional trauma care relies on an optimally functioning trauma system, requiring a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach. The trauma center is a safety net for the communities of Southwest Florida.  

Trauma is not an individual problem, but a community problem. Trauma kills more people between the ages of 1 and 44 than any other disease or illness. Our typical trauma patient is an everyday individual going about ordinary everyday things. The most common trauma alerts we see are falls, Motor Vehicle Collisions, we see very few Gun Shot Wounds(GSW) or stabbings. Trauma is an injury caused by a physical force. There are two types of injury Unintentional and intentional. Unintentional injury occurs without intent to harm=example is (motor vehicle crashes, fall, poisoning, fires, drowning, sports injury, etc.). Intentional injury is caused by purposeful human action and usually refers to some type of violence, either self-inflicted or inflicted by someone else. Examples= (suicide, homicide, assaults, rape and sexual abuse, abuse, and terrorists’ attacks.)  

Studies of conventional Trauma Care show that up to 35 percent of trauma patient deaths could have been prevented if a trauma center had been available. Trauma centers are responsible for saving thousands of lives by ensuring that severely injured patients receive the care they need within the “Golden Hour.” Current medial practices prove that treatment delivered within that crucial first hour following severe injury is likely to mean the difference between temporary and permanent disability and, between life and death.  

We have come a long way in the past 30 years, the original trauma center was located at Lee Memorial Hospital in 1994, at that time we started out with few trauma alerts and the number kept slowly increasing. Going from around 500 per year to a little over 3000 in 2021. In 2022, Lee Health Trauma Center made history by moving the trauma center to a new facility (Gulf Coast Medical Center). Our Trauma alerts and injuries have gone from 3,967 in 2022 to 2023 reaching 4,531. Since opening in 1994, 58,261 have been seen at the Trauma Center. This number will continue to rise as the population in the Trauma district continues to grow.  

The trauma center relies on a big span of services known as the trauma continuum. It begins with the 911 dispatcher, EMT, Paramedics, EMS, Pilots, Flight Nurses, Fire Department, and Law Enforcement. At the hospital, we are a system of trauma-trained specialty talent that is ready 24/7/365 to treat complex and life-threatening injuries in the trauma district.  

Once life saving measures have occurred the care starts to focus on emotional and psychological side effects that affect the entire family. Support groups, mentor programs. They also have an annual celebration of life for the survivors, families, and caretakers. The trauma center is a resource for the community to help raise awareness of injury prevention and safety-with the hope that people can make positive choices and avoid needing care in the trauma center. Programs include, High Risk Driver, Young Driver Program, TNTT(Trauma Nurses Talk tough) about Saving your life for high school Drivers Ed, Youth violence prevention (G.A.T.E.), Driving safety for Seniors (Driving longer, safer), Falls prevention (Step Smart) and Sports Injury prevention and Stop the Bleed. 

Gulf Coast Medical Trauma Center is the only Level II trauma center between Sarasota and Miami. Gulf Coast Medial Center is located at 13681 Doctor’s Way, Fort Myers, Fl. 33912.  

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