When a patient comes into the Elvis Presley Trauma Center, healthcare professionals are ready and waiting for that arrival. But what if a patient is trapped in a vehicle and unable to be extricated? What if trauma care needed to begin at the scene? That was the situation when a call came in to the trauma center in March. The trauma team quickly jumped into action, and the heroic efforts of the team have resulted in a Star of Life Award from the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for Children (TN EMSC). This honor was unprecedented as the TN EMSC normally only presents the award to pre-hospital providers/EMS personnel.

Copy of Star of Life Nurses

Pictured left to right: Kate Winney, Kerry Lyons, Sam Stewart and David Booker.

A team including Dr. Martin Croce, Dr. Gayle Minard, David Booker, Kerry Lyons, Sam Stewart and Kate Winney took part in this mission to stabilize a patient at the scene of the accident. The call came in from the battalion chief at the scene about a patient who was trapped. The EMS personnel could not extract her from the vehicle and knew they needed help to surgically extricate the patient in order to preserve her life. Teams were assembled and supplies were gathered to prepare for the trip. Dr. Croce, who was off duty at home, was paged and immediately set out to meet the team at the scene. The nurses were going ahead to prepare the scene, and a team of an anesthesiologist, surgical scrub and surgeon would follow.

The weather was treacherous, and severe downpours proved to be significant obstacles in the extrication of the patient and the transport of the team to the scene. As the nursing team traveled by ambulance, they learned that the patient had been removed from the vehicle and was now in transport. The team met up with the transporting ambulance and started assisting the paramedics en route to the hospital. Meanwhile, shift change had occurred at the trauma center, and a new team was eagerly waiting to receive the patient.

As a result of this event, a protocol has been established between the trauma center and the Memphis Fire Department. The Elvis Presley Trauma Center now has The Go Team, which is activated by the Memphis Fire Department when needed to respond to the scene for surgical procedure and interventions.