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Upstate Trauma Center gears up for its busiest months - July and August

Upstate Trauma Center gears up for its busiest months - July and August

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- The warm, lazy, hazy days of summer are the busiest when it comes to the Upstate Trauma Center.

No months bring more patients to the trauma center than July and August.

Last year, 458 people were admitted to Upstate University Hospital through its trauma center during July and August. That works out to be about 7 people admitted each day with serious enough injuries to warrant care from the trauma team.  Or to put it another way, about 20 percent of the patients treated each year by Upstate Trauma Center are admitted to the hospital in July and August.

“The summer brings with it more risk-taking behaviors, more cars on the road, people driving faster, and with school being out, there’s more people out and about with more opportunity to get hurt,” said Jolene Kittle, RN, coordinator of the Upstate Trauma Center.

The Upstate trauma team mobilizes for the most serious injuries that come in through the Emergency Department. These injuries are classified as blunt or penetrating injuries, highlighted by possible internal organ damage, broken bones, lacerations and contusions.

Falls make up the most common reasons for landing in the trauma center. Injuries are likely to include broken bones needing surgery and significant rehabilitation.

However Kittle warns that the most significant injuries come from motorcycle crashes, bike accidents, pedestrian/car accidents, motor vehicle crashes, and July and August is when these incidents increase.

Aside from falls, other traumas with the greatest occurrence in July and August are

- bicycle accidents, 34 percent

- motorcycle crashes, 28 percent

- pedestrian/car accidents, 24 percent

- motor vehicle crashes, 18 percent

Often with these incidents treatment includes multiple surgeries, long hospitalization and an even longer period of rehabilitation.

“Please be careful on the roadways this summer no matter what your mode of transportation is,” she said.  “Injuries suffered in these crashes can not just ruin a summer, but impact one’s life forever.”

The Upstate Trauma Center is the region’s only Level 1 trauma center, providing trauma care for a 14-county region and facilitates transports from ambulance and first aid crews from all across the region.  Last month Upstate received its second consecutive verification of its Level 1 trauma status for adults and children by a special committee of the American College of Surgeons.

A Level I trauma center is capable of providing total care for every aspect of injury - from prevention through rehabilitation.

Elements of Level I trauma centers include:

-       24-hour in-house coverage by general surgeons, and prompt availability of care in specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial, pediatric and critical care.
-       Referral resource for communities in nearby regions.
-       Provides leadership in prevention, public education to surrounding communities.
-       Provides continuing education of the trauma team members.
-       Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program.
-       Operates an organized teaching and research effort to help direct new innovations in trauma care.
-       Program for substance abuse screening and patient intervention.
-       Meets minimum requirement for annual volume of severely injured patients.

Members of Upstate Trauma Center team are Kelly Cznarceki, RN, BSN; Josetta Duffus, LPN; Angela D’Andrea; Sara Fisher, MS, RN, PNP; Jolene Kittle, MS, RN; Michele Lewis; William Marx, DO; Sharon Menand; Jerry Morrison, RN; Kim Nasby, RN; Miranda Wasilenko; Kim Wallenstein, MD, PHD

Caption: Jolene Kittle, MS, RN, Upstate Trauma Services coordinator, speaks with reporters about how July and August are busiest months at the Upstate Trauma Center.