Pleasantville High School seniors learned about the potentially fatal and life-altering repercussions of risky behaviors when The Harrah’s Regional Trauma Center at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center hosted its first Prevention in 3D education program Friday. ARMC developed as a community benefit aimed at preventing death and injury from drinking, driving and drugs. Representatives of AtlantiCare, the Absecon Police Department, and Gift of Life Donor Program and Miss Atlantic County 2013, Lindsey Giannini addressed the students.
Students learned about
• Anatomy and physiology of the brain and spinal cord
• Effects of drugs and alcohol use
• What happens to the body when a traumatic injury occurs/mechanics of injuries
• A day in the life of a trauma patient
• Life after traumatic injuries
• Dangers of texting and driving
• Impact of organ donation
“Wear seatbelts, wear helmets when riding bikes or motorcycles, stay away from intoxicated drivers,” John Bergen, NREMT-P, CFRN, CCRN, clinical coordinator, ARMC Emergency Medical Services, told the students while discussing and demonstrating emergency care ARMC Emergency Medical technicians and paramedics provide for victims and perpetrators of risky behavior that results in traumatic injury.
“It’s not just you who is affected when you choose risky behaviors such as texting while driving or having a beer at a party,” explained Kelly Willman, MD, ARMC Trauma surgeon, “So many kids we treat want to tell their parents and friends they’re sorry. I don’t want to see you in one of our trauma bays.” Willman led students on a hospital tour that included a visit to hospital’s helipad, trauma admitting area, and Trauma Intensive Care Unit, explaining the care a trauma patient would receive in each area. Students also visited the blood bank and morgue.
“When you’re in a vehicle, the driver has your life in his hands,” said Giannini, discussing her “Don’t Text and Drive, Stay Alive” platform. I’m a teen like you. I know what it’s like,” she said before sharing tips for talking with friends. “You can say, ‘Let me intercept the text message’ or, “Let me respond for you.’ ” Giannini also suggested the teens use mobile phone apps that silence their phone or send an automatic message noting they are driving and can’t respond to the text.
Detective John Deritis, Absecon Police Department, discussed and demonstrated the effects of drugs and alcohol and how they impact driving safety.
Todd Franzen, MPA, senior coordinator, Community Relations, Gift of Life Donor Program, discussed the life-saving impact organ donation has and the value of designating oneself as a donor, rather than leaving the decision to family members. A recipient shared his personal story.
“Our goal is to help young adults identify potential injury-producing situations, make prevention-based choices, and refrain from risky behaviors,” said Monica Titus, RN, Trauma and Neurosciences Institute programs director.
About ARMC’s Trauma Center
ARMC is one of ten trauma centers in the state. It is one of seven Level II trauma centers. As a Level II trauma centers expected to provide definitive trauma care, regardless of the severity of injury. Level II trauma centers have most of the clinical capabilities of a Level I. Level II trauma centers are required to participate in trauma research conducted by the Level Is and to sponsor public and provider educational programs in cooperation with the Level I centers. Level II trauma centers must treat a minimum of 350 patients per year.
ARMC’s Trauma Center at AtlantiCare is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year by trauma surgeons, anesthesiologists, trauma nurses, respiratory therapists, on-call consultants and vital support services, including transfusion services, laboratory services and diagnostic radiology.
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