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UC San Diego Medical Center Gets A New Trauma Unit

Aired 5/16/13 on KPBS News.

Severely injured patients treated at UC Medical Center in Hillcrest will get even faster and better care, thanks to a new state-of-the-art trauma unit.

— One of San Diego's busiest trauma centers has gotten a major upgrade. The trauma department at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest has a brand new center.

UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest.

Above: UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest.

The new unit at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest has the capacity to treat four patients at once. That's a big plus for a department that sees more than 3,000 severely injured people every year.

Trauma program manager Johnathan Jones said the unit has a smart layout.

"This boom system right here has a lot of our equipment on it and there's space all the way around it to make a safer environment, for the people working and the patient, and easier access," he said as he stood next to one of the trauma beds. "Even the equipment is integrated in the walls, much like you see in an ambulance."

Dr. Raul Coimbra, chief of the trauma department, said the unit's state-of-the-art equipment will really make a difference.

"With this cutting edge technology that's present in this room, we can get X-rays up on the screen in three seconds, whereas in the past, it used to take 10 or 15 minutes," Dr. Coimbra explained. "We can get blood test results immediately in our computers. We don't need to run somewhere else to get a result. So we can respond much more rapidly to the needs of the patients now."

Trauma is the leading cause of death for Americans under 44. Most of the trauma patients at UC San Diego have been in car accidents or have fallen.

Jones said the new unit is ready to save lives.

"We've taken are already efficient, speedy care, and looked at the pieces within it and tightened up all those things to provide even better care," Jones said.

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