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EMTs Gather for the First Annual Orthopedic Trauma Symposium

In July, nearly 100 EMTs and other first responders attended the Orthopedic Trauma Symposium: Highlighting Techniques & Addressing Controversies in Modern Orthopedic Trauma Care hosted by the Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute in collaboration with UTHealth Medical School. The symposium offered a full day of educational lectures and exercises related to orthopedic trauma and was offered free of charge to EMTs and RNs who provide pre-hospital trauma care to patients across the Greater Houston area.

“Many accident scenes, such as a motor vehicle collision, are likely to have some sort of traumatic extremity injury,” said Dr. Timothy Achor, UTHealth orthopedic trauma surgeon affiliated with the Texas Trauma Institute. “This seminar was an opportunity for first responders to learn more about orthopedic trauma injuries and the patient experience both before and after they receive hospital care.”


Orthopedic Trauma Symposium

Texas Trauma Institute affiliated physicians provided lectures on more than 20 different topics related to orthopedic trauma and facilitated lab practicals that allowed EMTs to get hands-on experience using drills, pins and models that simulated orthopedic injuries. EMTs also learned how to apply external fixators, which is a standard damage control procedure for many orthopedic injuries.

Two patients who suffered orthopedic trauma injuries also attended the symposium to share their stories of treatment and recovery at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, home to one of only two Level I trauma centers in Houston. One patient underwent more than 20 surgeries following a serious motorcycle collision. The other patient is a Houston police officer who was injured in the line of duty. When he arrived at the TMC Campus via Memorial Hermann Life Flight®, admission lab values revealed he had a 50 percent mortality rate. Both patients have fully recovered and are now living the lifestyles they enjoyed prior to their incidents.

“Receiving treatment at a Level I trauma center significantly increases the chance of survival for many patients who suffer traumatic injuries,” Dr. Achor said. “Emergency responders play a vital role in getting patients to a hospital that can provide the highest level of surgical care, which is why educational opportunities like the symposium for our EMT partners are so important.”

During the event, EMTs also engaged with orthopedic trauma physicians and Texas Trauma Institute Director Dr. John Holcomb during several Q&A panels; heard from Dr. David Persse, director of emergency medical services for the City of Houston, about advances in technology; and toured Life Flight.