Health & Wellness

Colorado Health & Wellness | Spring 2016

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Health and Wellness Magazine • 21 Witnesses say the dirt on the construction site acted like a ramp, catapulting the truck high in the air before it dropped into a 10-foot-deep hole on the other side. That's where the emergency crew found the couple. When her husband came to, he was barely hurt, thanks to his seatbelt and air bag. But Deidra Campbell, 49, suffered severe trauma, her legs mangled in the impact, her body wedged so tightly first-responders had to cut her out of the vehicle. As with any trauma, time was of the essence, and just days before, Sky Ridge Medical Center, only minutes away, had been approved as a Level II trauma center capable of taking her case. To earn the designation, hospitals must meet state criteria that assure they can rapidly treat and stabilize any traumatic injury. And when it comes to trauma — the top killer of Americans between the ages of 1 and 46, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the faster the treatment at a higher level of care, the higher the chance of full recovery. Emphasis on Readiness "It's called the golden hour," Sky Ridge Medical Center's Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Markenson says of the hour post-injury, when trauma specialists work to have a patient not just in a hospital, but on the operating table when necessary to boost chances of survival. "In a trauma system, every minute counts," Markenson says. Before the new designation, ambulance drivers with severely injured patients would have rushed right past Sky Ridge toward the next nearest high-level center at least 15 miles away, which, with Denver traffic, could be significant. "Can you imagine someone who was hit near Sky Ridge at 4:30 in the afternoon and had to travel on I-25? That could be an hour drive on some days," Markenson says. Instead, Campbell was transported within minutes of being freed from the vehicle to Sky Ridge, where Trauma Director Randi Koehn's 10-member trauma team, already prepped on Campbell's status and ready for her injuries, was waiting. "We greeted her when she arrived and immediately started stabilizing her," says Koehn, whose nurses are certified in advanced life support and trauma care. "We transport patients in and out of the trauma bay quickly." With two broken legs (one badly fractured), a broken sternum, bruises on every part of her body, and one side of her face severely swollen, Campbell remembers being scared and in a lot of pain. "I looked like Quasimodo with one eye about to pop out of its socket. But they were doing everything they could do for me. I remember the staff explaining everything that was going on and being so kind," says Campbell, who, while still recovering and largely wheel-chair bound weeks after the accident, is confident of a full recovery. A national evaluation published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 concluded that having a high-level trauma center in a community can reduce deaths by as much as 25 percent. Deidra Campbell (shown with her husband, Pete, top) was one of the first patients to benefit from Sky Ridge Medical Center's new Level II trauma designation. Above, she thanks Trauma Director Randi Koehn, who led Campbell's care the night a relaxing ride turned into a harrowing nightmare for the couple. Pete Campbell passed out at the wheel, possibly caused by a heart issue doctors are evaluating. Deidra Campbell suffered severe injuries but expects a full recovery. "Can you imagine someone who was hit near Sky Ridge at 4:30 in the afternoon and had to travel on I-25? That could be an hour drive on some days."

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