10th anniversary for Trauma Center

10th anniversary for our Level 1 Trauma Center

Center has treated more than 22,000 patients since opening in 2004

Over the last 10 years, plenty of tears, hugs and close calls have passed through the UF Health Shands Trauma Center, which has provided service to more than 22,000 patients over the past decade.

“We feel honored to have touched so many lives over the years,” said Donna York, M.S.N., UF Health Shands Trauma Center program manager. “We have come a long way since we opened our doors in 2004, and are more prepared than ever to serve patients in need of trauma care.”

Opened on Oct. 1, 2004, the trauma center was originally located within UF Health Shands Hospital on the north campus and housed two 200-square-foot resuscitation rooms. When it relocated to the new UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital building in 2009, it expanded to include four resuscitation rooms at 400 square feet each, as well as two smaller medical resuscitation rooms, and is fully equipped with the latest technology. The skilled trauma team of College of Medicine critical care faculty and residents and UF Health Shands nursing and clinical staff manages about 2,000 critically ill patients a year, with an average of six to seven trauma patients per day.

Years of preparation and work built the foundation of our trauma program. The leadership included trauma surgeon Lawrence Lottenberg, M.D., a College of Medicine associate professor of surgery and anesthesiology, who had 20 years of experience when the center opened. Lottenberg and the team created the guidelines and procedures that enabled the center to achieve and maintain Level I certification by the state of Florida.

In all trauma alert cases, a trauma attending physician, emergency room attending and resident, two registered nurses, a critical care tech and other staff members are alerted and present. An attending trauma physician is in house 24/7. With our regional burn center and highly specialized experts teams, our academic health center environment offers incredible support and expertise for trauma patient care. What keeps the trauma center team at the top of its game is the combined experience of our diverse experts and their complete focus on trauma patients, said York.

The center houses advanced imaging technology, including three sophisticated CT scanners, an MRI scanner, two ultrasound machines, two digital radiology rooms and a fluoroscopy room to provide comprehensive radiology options.

The team is involved in numerous research studies and collaborates with other departments on clinical investigations. Several attending physicians conduct research on a variety of cases in the trauma center.

In addition to meeting patients’ medical needs, their emotional and physical health is a top priority of the trauma team. Several social workers and nurses are specially assigned to the center to serve trauma patients and their loved ones.

York said, “Trauma is one of those things that no one plans for, happens at the worst time and really puts stress on the entire family.”

Quick facts

  • Oct. 1, 2004: Received provisional state designation as regional Level 1 trauma center
  • 1,546: Number of patients treated during the program’s first year
  • 2,528: Number of patients treated last year
  • 22,713: Total number of patients treated in the trauma center (through Dec. 31, 2013)
  • 48-50: Average number of patients treated in a typical week
  • Motor vehicle collisions, falls and burns: Most prevalent types of injuries treated in the trauma center