More than 200 students from Maine East High School and Barrington High School participated in Trauma Day at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Friday, May 5.
It marks the 18th year the hospital's Level I Trauma Center staff and other health care professionals hosted the annual event as a way of raising the students' awareness around the repercussions of serious injuries. May is Trauma Awareness Month.
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital sees over 1,000 seriously injured patients each year, and many of these injuries are the result of motor vehicle accidents. The "hands-on" activities are designed to encourage students to drive safely and avoid driving while impaired.
"We want the young people to see the long-term impact a traumatic injury can have on their lives and those of their families," says Manoj Shah, M.D. Director of Trauma Services at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. "We want them to have the information they need to make good choices in the future."
"We work hard to ensure that the students are engaged in activities that will get their attention," says Kathy Tanouye, R.N., Trauma Services Manager at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. "Our staff is vested in preventing injuries and getting students to think twice before doing something that could change their lives forever."
The students had the opportunity to meet Mike, a trauma survivor who was involved in serious motor vehicle accident. Mike was driving greater than 40 miles per hour when he lost control of the car and hit a parked truck. He was wearing his seat belt but still sustained a traumatic brain injury. He was flown to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital by the Flight for Life helicopter and it took him 7 months after his traumatic accident before could return home with a significant amount of help from his parents.
The students also participated in several hands-on activities meant to give them a better understanding of a trauma patient's journey from the Flight for Life helicopter, through the Emergency Department, operating room and intensive care unit. Whether it is assisting in the intubation of a mannequin, or getting dressed while balancing a ball to simulate recovery after a brain injury, or experiencing a field sobriety test -- the hands-on activities encourage the teens to think before they act.
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital's Level I Trauma Center is responsible for coordinating trauma care across the EMS Region 9, comprised of Cook, McHenry and Kane counties, as well as portions of Lake and Kendall counties.