This article is part of At NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island, an Ace Trauma Team Restores Hope After Tragedy.
“The patient survived because she got everything she needed when she needed it,” says Adam E. Stright, MD, who was among a team of 20 clinicians that saved her. “That’s how you provide care at a Level 1 Trauma Center.” Of the more than 6,000 hospitals in the United States, only 141 are certified by the American College of Surgeons as Level 1 Trauma Centers, signifying that they serve their communities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with definitive care for patients whose injuries endanger their lives. “The Level 1 designation means that a trauma center not only meets the highest standards of patient care,” notes Dr. Stright, “but that it’s dedicated to advancing trauma medicine to improve clinical outcomes nationwide.” Studies show that patients treated at a Level 1 Trauma Center have a 25 percent higher chance of survival.
The Level 1 Trauma Center at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island is one of two such units operated by NYU Langone Health; the other one is located at NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn. Of the approximately 2,200 trauma patients brought to the Long Island hospital each year, 94 percent have sustained a blunt injury from a fall or motor vehicle accident, and 6 percent have a penetrating injury, usually caused by a gunshot or knife wound. “Trauma centers reflect the surrounding community, and NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island is no exception,” says D’Andrea K. Joseph, MD, who oversaw the patient’s restoration.
The center’s six full-time trauma specialists are trained in emergency general surgery, trauma surgery, and surgical critical care. They are uniquely skilled at prioritizing multiple severe injuries, operating on every major body cavity, and dealing with the complexities of shock, a life-threatening condition resulting from inadequate blood flow. “We see patients through their entire hospital stay, from the initial presentation through rehabilitation,” explains Dr. Joseph. “The care we provide is soup to nuts.” Dr. Stright adds that the trauma team is greatly enhanced by its nurses, who are “so excellent that they enable us to focus entirely on the patient.”
The unit boasts two resources that are unique not only to Level 1 Trauma Centers in Nassau County, but to those in the entire state. It maintains its own dedicated blood supply and has a dedicated trauma bay that is separate and apart from the main Emergency Department. “Our experience and training are superior to many other trauma centers,” says Dr. Joseph. “But what really makes us shine is that we work as a family and treat our patients like family.”