The Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital is one of the world’s leading facilities and excels in every aspect of trauma care, saving thousands of lives each year. Since its founding in 1992, Ryder Trauma Center has developed a worldwide reputation for clinical excellence. Surgical and medical teams from throughout the United States, as well as from nations like Russia, Japan, England, Italy and France have visited the freestanding hospital center to study how advanced trauma care can be provided in other regions.
Ryder Trauma Center is the only adult and pediatric Level 1 trauma center in Miami-Dade County. Advanced trauma care is also provided to a large number of international patients transferred from the Caribbean, South America and Central America. Ryder Trauma Center features extensive research and education facilities, and serves as an Army Forward Surgical Team Training facility, preparing military healthcare personnel to provide care to those injured on the battlefield. From resuscitation to rehabilitation, Ryder Trauma Center provides a comprehensive continuum of care to the entire community. The specialized training, experience, and skills of our surgeons, physicians, nurses and staff are responsible for saving lives and hastening patient recoveries at every stage of the process.
For more information about Ryder Trauma Center, please call 305-585-1152.
At the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, patients arriving via ground or air rescue are rushed to one of five specially designed, newly renovated resuscitation rooms. Patients who arrive by helicopter on the center’s rooftop landing pad are carried by high-speed elevators to a resuscitation room in just 15 seconds. Awaiting patients in the Resuscitation area is a designated trauma team who remains in hospital and available 24 hours a day, ready to respond to the needs of those suffering severe traumatic injuries.
Rapid assessment and management of injuries is a critical factor in improving outcomes of trauma patients. Because of this, the Ryder Trauma Center is designed for rapid implementation of life-saving emergency treatments. Conveniently located in the Resuscitation area are radiology equipment, ultrasound machines, a new 64 slice Computerized Tomography scanner with a 128 slice CT scanning suite currently under construction. The proximity of these diagnostic modalities has been designed to provide critical information rapidly to the trauma team.
The Ryder Trauma Center’s six operating suites are designed for multiple operating teams and equipment. One Operating Room is available at all times with an assigned team of anesthesiologists, nurses and scrub technicians to receive those patients requiring emergent surgical intervention. A team of surgeons can repair damaged blood vessels in a chest while a neurosurgery team works on a head injury, and an orthopaedics team re-sets a broken arm or leg. This multiple-team approach provides faster recovery times and promotes better outcome for patients.
After surgery, most patients stay in the center’s 25-bed, Trauma Intensive Care Unit (TICU), of which 5 beds are dedicated to critically injured burn victims. In addition to the ICU, a 12 bed step-down unit for trauma patients has been added to the Ryder Trauma Center.
Rehabilitation services at the center are focused in three areas: brain injuries, orthopaedic and spinal cord injuries and pediatric injuries (age 16 and under). Other types of rehabilitation therapy are provided through various Jackson Memorial Hospital programs and in the hospital’s free-standing rehabilitation center. While rehabilitation generally begins as soon as the patient is stabilized, therapists may be called upon to evaluate a patient at an even earlier stage. Early intervention helps patients regain the maximum level of function as quickly as possible.
To provide ongoing care to trauma patients, daily outpatient clinics are held at the Ryder Trauma Center. These clinics provide continuity of care and allow the patient and family to return to a familiar setting for outpatient treatment, which may include post-discharge wound care, medications or other medical or rehabilitative services.
The Miami Burn Center
The Miami Burn Center located in the Ryder Trauma Center is one of the leading burn treatment facilities in the nation and the only such center in South Florida. In March 2008, after completing the rigorous process set forth by the American Burn Association (ABA) and American College of Surgeons, the Miami Burn Center received notice of successful verification by the ABA. This verification demonstrates a continued commitment to the treatment of patients suffering burn injuries and the allocation of resources necessary to ensure the best outcomes. As of today, there are only 3 ABA verified burn centers in the state of Florida.
Founded in the 1960s, the Burn Center now sees hundreds of patients each year. In addition to caring for the residents of Miami-Dade County, the Miami Burn Center accepts patients suffering burn injuries from many counties throughout Florida, as well as from the Caribbean and Latin America. This high number of referrals from areas outside of Miami-Dade is due to the specialized services provided and the experience necessary to treat severe burns.
The Burn Center provides a comprehensive team approach to the care of burn victims. The clinical team, including Burn/Trauma Surgeons, Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, Skilled Technicians, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Social Workers, Registered Dietitians and Psychologists provide care throughout the duration of stay for each patient.
In our Trauma Resuscitation area, surgeons and nurses provide rapid evaluation and treatment. Treatment of burn patients depends on the extent, depth and type of burn. Injuries are assessed for the degree of burn, resuscitation is administered, temporary coverage is applied and special measures are implemented to reduce the risk of infection. Pain management is a challenge in any burn patient and the majority of the patients are placed on individual pain management regimens.
Patients are dispositioned from Trauma Resuscitation to the Burn Intensive Care Unit or the dedicated Medical-Surgical burn floor, depending on the severity of injury and level of monitoring required. Occupational and Physical Therapists provide rehabilitative services both at the bedside and in the Burn Center’s gym. Therapists guide exercises in weight training, muscle strengthening, resistance, endurance, range of motion and activities of daily living.
Psychologists assist with the emotional needs of patients and their families to provide support, encouragement and coping strategies. Recovery from a burn not only involves healing the patient, but addressing the changes and challenges faced by family members. Social workers serve as patient care coordinators for rehabilitation services, discharge needs, patient and family education and support at home.
The Burn Center’s outpatient clinic, held four days a week with all subspecialties available, has thousands of visits annually. It provides continuity of care and allows the burn team to monitor the patient’s progress on a regular basis.
A big focus of the Miami Burn Center staff is burn injury prevention. Through participation in outreach activities such as the Children’s Fire Safety Festival, the Juvenile Firesetter Program, health fairs and Corporate Safety Seminars, the staff’s aim is to raise awareness about the dangers of fire and help prevent burn injuries. The Children’s Fire Safety Festival has been held in the community for over 20 years in conjunction with Miami-Dade’s seven fire departments. An Advanced Burn Life Support course is held annually and is given to teach the skills required to care for a critically injured burn victim in the first 24 hours.
The William Lehman Injury Research Center
Studying Motor Vehicles and Other Types of Injuries
Reducing injuries from motor vehicle crashes and other types of accidents is the primary goal of the William Lehman Injury Research Center at the Ryder Trauma Center. Currently, researchers are studying the relationship between the types of injuries suffered by drivers and passengers in motor vehicle crashes and how cars and truck are built and driven.
Founded in 1991 and named for a retired U.S. congressman who was dedicated to improving highway safety, the Lehman Center is supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the automobile industry and private companies.
The center’s team is building a database using its own computer software to try to determine the linkages between injuries, the type of crash and the type of vehicle. For example, the research team examined CT scans of injured drivers and found that drivers who were strapped in by a shoulder belt but neglected to use lap belts were more vulnerable to liver injuries in a crash. Because a damaged liver can lead to fatal internal bleeding, that finding was rapidly conveyed to other trauma centers, and lives have been saved as a result.
Eventually, the data being collected at the Lehman Center may lead to better guidelines for what first providers and emergency room doctors nationwide should do when they examine a crash victim.
Airbags have been another focus of research. Airbags have been credited with reducing deaths in head-on collisions by 30 percent. But the bags, which deploy from the dashboard at 200 mph, have been blamed for the deaths of children and shorter adults in slow speed, otherwise survivable, crashes. The team’s research played a key role in prompting the National Transportation Safety Board to issue safety recommendations regarding children and airbags – and for automobile manufacturers to begin using “de-powered” airbags that reduce the risks for small children.
The success of the Lehman Center has been based on the unique approach of using a multidisciplinary team to examine in unprecedented detail each automobile crash. Physicians, nurses, engineers, police emergency service personnel, crash reconstructionists and computer experts discuss multiple aspects of each crash.
The Ryder Trauma Center, in collaboration with the Lehman Center has been a pioneer in the field of telemedicine. The Lehman Center has partnered with the US Army to research the effectiveness of telemedicine in the trauma environment.
Funded by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC)—an organization under the US Army Medical Research & Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Maryland—the research team will conduct a 12-month clinical trial to study the usability and clinical effectiveness of the InTouch Health RP-7 robot in trauma care. Specifically, attending specialty physicians at Ryder Trauma Center will remotely support their on-site team and care of patients in Ryder’s resuscitation, trauma OR and trauma ICU as part of this research effort. It is hoped that this research will help us to better understand the feasibility of the RP-7 robot for use in trauma care on the battlefield. Telemedicine technology could virtually bring world class trauma physicians to the battlefield to support and mentor deployed military physicians who are treating injured soldiers.
Additionally, the Ryder Trauma Center and Lehman Center are working with the Florida Department of Health, Office of Trauma to develop a teletrauma network within the state of Florida. As one of only two centers participating in this project, the goal is to ensure emergency preparedness and adequate response in the event of a disaster. The network will link trauma centers and regional hospitals to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and expertise following a natural or man-made disaster.