By Davide M. Carbone
Chief executive officer at Osceola Regional Medical Center
From COVID-19 cases to unemployment rates, the sheer amount of data being presented to us each day can be overwhelming.
One number, however, stands out as a community milestone we can all celebrate. This fall, Osceola Regional Medical Center marked its 10,000th trauma patient survivor treated and given a second chance at life.
When Osceola Regional Medical Center filed a letter of intent and began its journey to becoming a trauma center in 2012, there was debate about whether additional specialized trauma treatment was needed in our community. After advocating with our elected officials, investing in our facilities and building a strong, experienced trauma team, the hospital opened its Trauma Center in 2015 and was approved as a Level II Trauma Center by the Florida Department of Health in 2016. Five years later, our hospital team, EMS and Fire Rescue partners have saved the lives of 10,000 critically injured patients – right in their own community.
Trauma is the leading cause of death among Floridians under age 44, so immediate access to specialized, comprehensive emergency medical services for patients suffering traumatic injuries is crucial. Treating patients within an hour of sustaining critical injuries allows us to save lives, improve outcomes and, ultimately, enhance their quality of life. For severe trauma patients who require several days or even weeks of medical attention, being treated close to home also helps ease some of the burden felt by family and friends traveling back and forth for visits.
When I reflect on our trauma survivors, I’m reminded of their incredible strength following what is often the worst day of their lives. In a split second, these individuals’ worlds – and those of the people they care about – have been altered, sometimes forever. In this context, 10,000 isn’t just a number. It represents 10,000 people who overcame immense obstacles to continue on their life’s journey. Seeing these patients not just survive, but recommit to being the best husband, sister, friend, employee, neighbor or athlete they can be – whatever that may look like for them today – is a testament to their resilience.
In reaching this milestone, I also reflect on the many selfless and talented people it takes to save a single life. From the bystander who called 911 to EMS and Fire Rescue to the multidisciplinary trauma team, including anesthesiologists, emergency medicine doctors, surgeons, nurses and support staff, it truly takes a village to do this work.
As we celebrate 10,000 trauma survivors at Osceola Regional Medical Center, it is important to remind our community to take care of one another. Always use caution while driving, wear your seat belt and avoid unnecessary distractions on the road. Remove tripping hazards around your home and follow proper safety protocols when climbing a ladder or using power tools. When possible, take advantage of community classes that teach critical skills such as dressing wounds and applying a tourniquet. As community members do their part to make our roads, homes and neighborhoods safer, we stand ready to help patients from all across Central Florida, as well as the many visitors to our region, whenever emergency trauma care is needed.