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National Trauma Awareness Month: Lifesaving Service for Five Counties

Lee Health in the Community
Author name: Lee Health Community Affairs

Lee Health trauma photo

Devastating traumatic injuries: They can happen so suddenly, but their effects last a lifetime.

President Ronald Reagan and Congress established National Trauma Awareness Month in 1988 to shine a light on these injuries and the brave clinicians who treat them.

On Tuesday, May 4, the County Commissioners of Lee County presented a proclamation to our Lee Health Trauma Center designating May 2021 as “Trauma Awareness Month” in Lee County.

This proclamation encourages all residents and visitors to be mindful, think about safety, and encourage participation in injury prevention education to improve the health of our community.

Lee Memorial Hospital has a Level II Trauma Center – the only trauma center between Sarasota and Miami — with highly trained specialists that care for patients suffering from major injuries across Southwest Florida.

Contrary to popular belief, “The trauma center is not a knife and gun club –we see very few stabbings and gunshot wounds. Our typical trauma patient is an everyday individual doing ordinary everyday things,” said Syndi Bultman, Trauma Injury & Prevention Resource Coordinator at Lee Memorial Hospital. 

Trauma kills more people between the ages of 1 and 44 than any other disease or illness. These accidents and injuries have a profound, lifelong impact on individuals, families, and communities.

What is Trauma?

Physical trauma is a serious injury to the body, and we group it into two categories.

Unintentional injury occurs without intent such as people getting into a car accident or falling off a ladder. Intentional injury means purposeful violence, either self-inflicted such as suicide or inflicted by someone else such as assault.

The most common trauma cases we see at the Lee Health Trauma Center are unintentional – car crashes and falls.

Spotlight on Teen Drivers

As we approach summer, we urge parents to remember that the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” because of the significant number of vehicle accidents involving teen drivers.

According to the CDC, teen drivers between the ages of 16-19 are three times more likely than drivers 20 and older to be involved in a deadly crash. Please talk to your teens about the importance of safe driving and be an example.

Injury Prevention and Support

The Lee Health Trauma Center Injury Prevention Program provides community-based services, education, and training prevention for violence, bullying, substance abuse, car crashes, sports injuries, falls, and more.

Community members who have suffered traumatic injuries and events also get the help they need with mentor programs and support groups.

Lee Health publishes the 2020 Community Benefit Report each year, and this report details how we care for you and work with local partners to provide access to healthcare and improve the overall health of Southwest Florida. In 2020, this team served 203,105 people in the community. That equates to 522 staff hours and $81,646 in community benefit.

Regional Advisory Committee of Trauma Services

Because trauma has a deep, lasting impact on both individuals and communities, the Lee County Trauma Board of Directors created the Regional Advisory Committee on Trauma Services in 2003.

The RAC comprises 14 members in the five-county district — Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry—and proudly serves citizens by sharing their perspective and educating the public about the Lee Health Trauma Center.

Trauma Awareness Blood Drive

You can support the Lee Health Trauma Center and Lee Health by donating blood. Lee Health uses 800 units of blood per week, and our trauma patients often need this life-saving service. Lee Health Blood Bank and the Lee Health Trauma Center work together to host two Blood Drives this month.

  • May 7 at Gulf Coast Medical Center from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • May 12 at Lee Memorial Hospital from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Please help save a life!

Lauren Ware, Community Programs Coordinator & Stephanie Wardein, System Director of Community Affairs

  • Trauma Care

    When severe injury occurs, seconds count. Our highly trained team is primed to care for traumatic injures all day, every day.