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If you have a life threatening injury caused by a automobile accident the trauma center at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida is the place to go. Since 2004, the Shands Trauma Center has seen over 7000 patients and has been designated as a level 1 trauma center, the highest rating assigned to emergency rooms that specialize in saving the lives of the most critically injured victims.

Traumatic injury is the leading killer of Americans and Floridians between the age of 1 and 44. Michelle Ziglar, the UF trauma program manager reports that they “see the worst of the worst” and still have a 95% survival rate. This survival rate ranks with the very best trauma centers in the U.S. according to surgeon Dr. John Armstrong. 70% of the patients are male with the highest incidence of admission being those 16 to 29 years old. Alcohol is involved in 38% of the cases.

Armstong recommends that the focus should be on prevention of injuries by following some simple suggestions such as wearing seat belts when in your car or truck, making sure air bags are on, and wearing a helmet anytime you are riding a motorcycle or ATV. It is also important to follow the rules of the road.

The “Golden Hour” is the time from the point of injury to the receiving of definitive care. Getting care within this first hour dramatically increases your chance of survival. Being seen at a level 1 trauma center can increase your chance of a successful recovery by as much a 20%. Every four seconds someone is injured and every six minutes someone will die from a traumatic injury.

In 2009 Shands will be opening a new state of the art trauma emergency center and have an entire floor with resuscitation rooms, operating rooms, and the extensive resources necessary to give its patients the best possible care.

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