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Lee Health Trauma Center is Saving Lives

Health Hub
Author name: Lee Health


The 9-1-1 call comes in and emergency personnel are dispatched to the scene of a car crash, or a man who fell off his ladder, or a bicyclist struck by a car.

The arriving EMTs and paramedics assess the situation, access their patients, tend to the casualties, begin treatment, make a decision on to transport -- all within 10 minutes. It’s known as the “platinum ten ”– the initial time used to make critical treatment and transport decisions. The “platinum ten” leads to the “golden hour” – those precious minutes after a critical injury when someone needs timely care to increase their odds of survival.

For 25 years, team members with the Trauma Center at Lee Memorial Hospital have jumped into action at a moment’s notice to treat victims of trauma, the leading cause of death among Floridians younger than 44. Since opening in 1994, the center has treated over 42,000 injured patients.

They are doing it right: “Getting the right level of care in the right amount of time promotes good outcomes” says Michael Marcus, trauma program manager.

Michael, who joined the Trauma Center in 1996, says the center received relatively few trauma alerts in its early years.

But Southwest Florida’s population boom across the five counties the trauma center serves – Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry – now generates more than 2,500 trauma alerts annually. It remains the only trauma center between Sarasota and Miami.

Community Focus

The Trauma Center provides access to the increased trauma care in the growing region because it functions as an integrated system of care, Michael says.

“Our trauma center is the central part of our communities’ steadfast commitment to prevent injury, respond quickly when it does occur, assure access to comprehensive services, and provide rehabilitation and re-integration back to the community. All of this working toward the same goal: Keep you from becoming injured, and if you do, get you back to doing what you were always able to do.

Trauma Medical Director Jose Diaz, M.D., says, “The center relies on a big span of services known as the trauma continuum. It’s not just us. It begins with the dispatchers, first responders, paramedics, pilots, flight nurses, and mechanics. Here at the hospital, we’re a system of trauma-trained specialty talent that is ready 24/7 to treat complex life-threatening injuries in our community.”

“Traumatic injury is not something people or families plan for when going about their day.” Michael says. “We are ever grateful to those who watch over all we know and love, and the well planned resources are a safety net for every one of us. Be mindful, stay safe.”

Did You Know:

  • Trauma is the fourth leading cause of death overall for all ages.
  • Motor vehicle crashes make up more than 50 percent of all trauma cases in Florida.
  • National studies show that patient mortality and morbidity is reduced by 20-25 percent when a patient is treated for traumatic injuries and is cared for in a trauma system rather than a non-trauma system.
  • Lee Health's Trauma Center is the only trauma center on Florida's Gulf Coast between Sarasota and Miami. It is one of 33 trauma centers in the state of Florida—26 are state-verified and 7 are provisional.
  • Lee Health's Trauma Center cares for approximately 2,400 traumatically injured patients each year.

To learn more information visit Lee Health Trauma Center or call 239-343-2000.

If you would to contribute to Healthy News, please contact us at [email protected]

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