Y
ou could fill a third of Neyland
Stadium with the people whose
lives are lost to aortic emergencies
every year. Aortic emergencies are
prevalent in East Tennessee, and The
University of Tennessee Medical Center
has responded to this community need.
was developed to
address the extremely high mortality rate
among patients experiencing an aortic
emergency. Armed with skills, data
and technology, the Aortic Center has
instituted a comprehensive program that
expedites diagnosis and streamlines care
coordination.
Using many of the resources available
at our Level I Trauma Center, the Aortic
Center is uniquely qualified to tackle the
challenge of this demanding diagnosis.
In-house surgeons, anesthesiologists
and a fully staffed operating room stand
ready to respond around the clock.
Cardiac and vascular surgeons use
groundbreaking technology to repair the
damage.
When an aortic emergency is occurring,
time is critical. Each minute of delay in
diagnosis and treatment dramatically
decreases the survival rate for these
patients.
A car crash in rural East Tennessee that
leaves an injured teenager with a torn
aorta triggers the acute aorta protocol.
With the first phone call to LIFESTAR,
a cascade of responders is activated.
Paramedics and EMTs initiate medical
care, and a LIFESTAR transport is
deployed to the scene. At the hospital,
surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses,
operating room, laboratory and radiology
staff prepare for the patient’s arrival.
Electronic images are transferred and
quickly analyzed for preoperative
planning. The patient placement center
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Fall 2013 - 5
Scott L. Stevens, MD
and intensive care unit is notified so that
transfer along the recovery path will be
seamless. Chaplains and caseworkers are
alerted to offer help and support to the
families and loved ones faced with this
difficult crisis.
The keys to the success of the aortic
program include provider and staff
education, communication, training and
rehearsal for all those involved in the
acute aorta protocol. Outcomes analysis
is regularly performed and utilized to
improve our care delivery.
From diagnosis to treatment, speed,
accuracy and coordination are critical.
The University of Tennessee Medical
Center’s Aortic Center demonstrates
our commitment to serving the East
Tennessee community.
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