Mercy Health Love County - Content

Rural Trauma Team

Medical personnel of the hospital, clinic and ambulance service make up a certified rural trauma team. They make a profound difference in the care of trauma patients, especially in Love county, which straddles 24 miles of interstate highway, the north-south running Interstate 35.

They come to the aid of critically injured people frequently, rendering advanced life support, and, often, summoning air ambulances directly to the scene.

They impact lives through quick action at accident sites, through rapid transport to the local emergency room for further evaluation or care, or by recognizing the need to bypass the local ER and transfer patients directly to a trauma center in Ardmore, Oklahoma City, or elsewhere in Oklahoma or Texas.

In a rural trauma team, various medical staff take responsibility for distinct tasks. Among them are opening a patient’s airway, relieving breathing problems, restoring blood flow, recognizing initial brain or spinal cord injury and immobilizing to prevent secondary injury, and recognizing and relieving exposure to the elements, the instructors taught.

Decisions concerning transfer should be started as soon as possible, they said. The decision may take place “pre-hospital” at the scene or at the emergency room. Team members categorize the patient’s injuries according to trauma classifications and act on the attending physician’s advice.