New Tools Speed Trauma Care

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - When you suffer a traumatic injury, every second you save in starting treatment can make a big difference in recovery.

Dr. William Sachs, medical director at Stormont-Vail's Trauma Center, says being on the cutting edge of patient care is important. These days, many of those cutting-edge tools help to speed care.

Among those tools, Stormont-Vail's Trauma Center recently began using the ThermaCore system. Dr. Sachs says it allows medical staff to give rapid amounts and large volumes of blood and blood products. He says hemorrhage is one of the leading causes of death in trauma patients, so getting blood products into patients as rapidly as possible is key to expediting care.

The Therma Core might be used in any injury with major bleeding, from a gunshot to a car wreck. It can give more than a liter of blood or fluids in less than a minute.

Even when it's not a major trauma, most trips to the emergency room involve a wait for lab results. Another new tool Stormont is using aims to change that. It's called the I-Stat. Dr. Sachs says it gives essentially all the labs doctors would need to make an initial plan for treatment in mere moments.

Just a few drops of blood taken at the bed side are pushed onto a cartridge and into the machine. About two minutes later, up pop numbers that, in the past, would have taken a 30-minute wait. Dr. Sachs says having the numbers immediately mean more rapid treatment and that early treatment, he says, can significantly improve a patient's overall outcome.

The American College of Surgeons recently re-verified Stormont-Vail as a Level II Trauma Center, which is the second-highest level of emergency care for traumatic injuries.


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