EMSA medics receive prestigious trauma award

TULSA, Okla.(Oct. 9, 2014) – Two teenaged young men now count four Emergency Medical Services Authority medics as life-savers, as does their hospital trauma team of physicians and caregivers.

 

The 18- and 19-year-olds were on their way to school early one cold Jan. 2014 morning when their car was struck broadside by a pickup truck resulting in 20 inches of intrusion into the passenger compartment.

 

Both young men were trapped in the car and needing immediate care. Bystanders summoned 911 help. EMSA was dispatched with the first unit arriving to the rural area outside of the city of Tulsa limits in eight minutes. The crew quickly called for another unit.

 

The four EMSA medics, Tyler Adamek, NREMT-P, Robert Catterson, NREMT-B, Jerry Pursley, NREMT-P, AEMD, and Brad Satterfield, NREMT-P, extricated one patient from the car with the Berryhill and Sapulpa Fire Department responders arriving soon after to extricate the second patient. Both patients were quickly immobilized.

 

The driver of the vehicle was unresponsive with a GCS of 4, noisy labored respirations, very hypertensive and had suffered apparent head trauma. The second victim was responsive, marginally hypotensive, very tachycardic and hypoxemic, extremely combative and had suffered severe chest injuries. The first was intubated and IV access established for both, and both were immediately transported.

The total scene times for these patients were 11 minutes and 7 minutes.

The first victim, the driver, had sustained severe head trauma including multiple areas of bleeding into and around his brain. He required ventilator support, tracheostomy and feeding tube placement and was hospitalized for 22 days before discharge to long-term care.

The passenger had suffered a head injury, multiple rib fractures and significant injury to both lungs. His survival - due to his severe pulmonary dysfunction - was tenuous for some time. He required weeks of ventilator support and multiple interventions but was discharged to rehab after 78 days in the hospital.

In Sept. of the same year, the EMSA foursome was honored for their work by the patient’s hospital trauma care team at Saint Francis Hospital, Tulsa, Okla. They were presented with the C.T. Thompson Award, named for Dr. C.T. Thompson, whose dedication to his patients and trauma care has served as an inspiration to a generation of trauma care providers nationwide.

“The fact is these young men received the right care at the right time and in the right way; they received optimal pre-hospital care,” said Sue Watkins, program manager, The Trauma Institute, Saint Francis Hospital.

“Although there are certainly cases in which the efforts of EMS appear more heroic and cases that present more dramatically, the survival of both of these young men was very much dependent upon timely and entirely appropriate management by pre-hospital personnel. Neither of them encountered any delay, they received all of the care they needed and neither of them underwent unnecessary pre-hospital interventions…..[the care which the EMSA medics gave] was fundamental to the survival of both of these young men.”

EMSA is Oklahoma’s largest provider of pre-hospital emergency medical care serving more than 1.6 million residents in 16 central and northeastern Oklahoma communities. The system is comprised of EMSA, its ambulance service contractor, and 23 first response agencies.

Dr. Jeffrey M. Goodloe, system medical director, added his praise as well, "I'm very proud of these fine EMS professionals. Our EMS system is committed to providing the finest out-of-hospital emergency medical care available. These professionals gave these seriously injured patients that care, care that distinctly contributed to their survival."

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