Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital has been designated as a Level III Trauma Center by the Texas Department of State Health Services after consistently demonstrating its ability to provide advanced trauma life support, evaluation, stabilization and diagnostic services.
“As trauma continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, it’s important for our team to be able to manage trauma cases as they arrive to our hospital,” said Jerry Ashworth, Sr. Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital. “This designation is important to Cypress and the surrounding community because it confirms our trauma team’s ability to provide access to high-quality trauma care at a trauma center in a timely manner. Timing is critical in saving a life.”
Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital is part of Memorial Hermann Health System’s integrated trauma network, the only such system in Greater Houston. The integrated trauma network, which includes Memorial Hermann Life Flight®, provides life-saving care for trauma victims before, during and after their injuries.
Level III Trauma Centers have a team of trauma physicians and nurses available to assess the patient upon arrival. Patients who require more comprehensive care are managed and stabilized before being transferred to a Level I or Level II Trauma Center. As part of its Level III status, Memorial Hermann Cypress provides educational opportunities in trauma care for the community including Stop the Bleed training, fall prevention education and screening events.
We give everybody the opportunity. We were very aggressive at our resuscitation strategies because of this scenario right here.”
“The patient had liters of blood in her abdomen, the majority of which was coming from her spleen, a grade 5 shattered spleen. So we rapidly controlled that with our fingers then ligated the bleeding vessels and removed the injured spleen.
“She also had an injury to her liver, which we were able to control surgically, and a retroperitoneal hematoma (hemorrhage). An x-ray shot in the trauma bay revealed a pelvic fracture and evidence of bleeding, so we performed a damage control laparotomy, packing off the bleeding, before continuing resuscitation.
“We also activated what’s called IR STAT, a unique process we developed a few years ago to get our interventional radiology colleagues to the bedside within 30 minutes for bleeding trauma patients. They were able to stop the bleeding from her pelvis by embolizing some of the arteries in her pelvis,” says Dr. McNutt.
Dr. McNutt summarizes the chain of events and efforts which saved Figueroa’s life. “The prehospital, the EMS, they put a pelvic binder on her, minimizing pelvic bleeding and called Life Flight. Life Flight gave blood products, intubated and ensured high quality chest compressions. There was a Level I trauma activation, so my oncall trauma team was gowned and gloved and waiting for her with a cooler full of blood. We did immediate interventions with invasive devices for blood product transfusion and blood pressure monitoring. She had an ultrasound showing blood in her abdomen. She was taken immediately upstairs to the operating room, which was also ready and waiting for us like a level one trauma center should be.”
Jackie Figueroa is alive today because “every single thing went perfect,” Dr. McNutt says. “Patients who are critically injured like this, they survived because everyone that touched them—in the prehospital setting, in the emergency room, in the operating room, orthopedic surgery, trauma surgery, rehabilitation—every single person did their job. That’s what it takes.”
Figueroa, a mother of two, is still recovering, walking with the aid of a walker, 2 1/2 months later. “I am trying to stay positive,” she says. “God worked through everyone who put their hands on me that day. If it weren’t for Him, I wouldn’t be here. I am a walking miracle.”
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