Miracles Measured in Minutes
At age 63, Ishac Ohanessian, a jewelry store owner, was shot at point-blank range during a robbery. Within 36 minutes from the paramedic’s arrival on the scene, Mr. Ohanessian arrived at Northridge Hospital’s Trauma Center and underwent the first of eight surgeries. Fifty-six days later he was well on his way to a full recovery.
Regina Adad remembers her car crash and not being able to breathe. By the time paramedics arrived she was unconscious, cool and clammy with no blood pressure and no obvious signs of injuries. Upon arrival at the hospital five minutes later, an ultrasound showed a large amount of blood in her abdomen and massive liver injuries. Within 20 minutes, she was on her way to surgery at the Trauma Center. Adad was on a respirator in ICU for 11 days, followed by three days on a Medical/Surgical Unit before being stable enough to go home.
What Does a Nearby Trauma Center Mean to the Community?
As witnessed by these two former patients, every minute counts after a traumatic injury. As one of only two Trauma Centers in the San Fernando Valley, the Northridge Hospital Trauma Center is designated as a Level II facility and treats 1,100 patients each year. Now this life-saving service is extended to children as well with the opening of the Valley’s first Pediatric Trauma Center, the Richie Pediatric Trauma Center
What is Trauma?
It’s the scariest type of injury, requiring immediate, life-saving treatment within the “Golden Hour.” The first hour can make a difference in saving lives and improving recovery for adults. For children, this time is referred to as the Platinum 30 minutes.
If injured, your chances of survival are 20 percent greater at a Trauma Center than an Emergency Department. Before Trauma Centers, patients would have to wait hours in an Emergency Room for surgeons or specialists to arrive at the hospital.
With a Trauma Center, the Trauma Team is fully prepared and assembled in the Trauma Room before the patient arrives. And, our new Pediatric Trauma Center is just the right size for children with the technology necessary to quickly and accurately assess a child’s condition and provide immediate treatment.
Trauma Centers Ready When Needed
Approximately 600 of the nation’s nearly 6,000 hospitals serve as Trauma Centers and anchor an EMS system that has lowered the U.S. death rate from traumatic injuries by 70 percent. Trauma Centers are uniquely positioned to respond to emergencies of mass scale when compared to general hospitals based on their resources, constant state of readiness, extra capacity and strong healthcare facility connections with the local and regional emergency care community.
Now that America needs its Trauma Centers more than ever, economic threats have placed this essential public service at serious risk. In 1985, the Golden Hour Guild was established and has raised more than $750,000 in support of the Trauma Center.
Trauma care requires rigorous staffing criteria, and a constant state of readiness working in conjunction with the county’s trauma system. The continuing efforts of the Guild play a significant role in helping maintain an active Trauma Center when many trauma facilities in Los Angeles County have been forced to close due to the tremendous financial strain.