Navicent Health researchers find trauma units increase patients’ chances of survival

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Doctors at the Medical Center, Navicent Health are learning a critically-injured patient’s proximity to a trauma center can increase a chance for patient survival.

The research, funded by a grant from the Georgia Trauma Commission, reviewed more than 188,000 patient experiences between 2008-2012. The study evaluated the effectiveness of trauma centers in certain hospitals around the state.

Dr. Dennis Ashley, the director of trauma and adult critical care at the Medical Center, says critically injured patients have a 10% survival increase when being treated at a trauma center opposed to a non-trauma emergency room.

"Now finally we have Georgia data, Georgia specific data, that shows that trauma centers make a difference and saves lives," Ashley said. "We had no data to show that we were having a positive return on our investment."

Not all emergency rooms are trauma centers. The trauma units have teams made up of 11 people including: physicians, nurses, and technicians. All of whom are ready 24/7 if and when a patient needs to be seen and helps get them to surgery quicker.

Ashley also serves as chair of the state’s trauma commission. He says one of his responsibilities is to make sure the state’s trauma centers are properly funded and having completed research to show to legislators helps.

"This helps guide them when they do the appropriations and they do the funds that now we have some data scientific scrutiny, that’s been published, and shows that they are spending it wisely and makes a difference," Ashley said.

The Medical Center is the only level  one trauma center in Middle Georgia.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at