New Trauma Center Opens in Ocala
Residents of Marion County now have a trauma care facility in their community.
The new trauma center in ocala opened four months ahead of schedule.
The center opened Saturday morning and the very first night they had three trauma patients.
As of Tuesday afternoon, about 10 people have been treated and trauma surgeons said they expect that number to rise.
"I think it's a good idea," said Marie Russell.
Russell of Ocala had no idea the new trauma center at Ocala Regional Medical Center opened on Saturday.
Until now, trauma patients in Marion County were either taken to Gainesville or Tampa.
"I wouldn't like to think I'd have to travel that far or have my family travel that far to see me," said Russell.
Now all patients considered as a trauma alert will either be taken by ambulance or airlifted to the new center.
Dr. Darwin Ang is a Trauma Medical Director at Ocala Regional.
"By having a trauma center here means that people can get that life saving treatment faster," said Dr. Ang.
According to Ang, Marion, Hernando and Citrus counties are the most under served areas when dealing with trauma alerts.
"The Department of Health published in 2010 a data that showed we transferred the most trauma patients out of here. By starting a trauma center in the most under served area in all of Florida we are really going to help a lot of people," said Ang.
More than $6.5 million has already been invested in developing the program.
The center has intensive care units for trauma surgeries, an operating room, x-ray machines and a helipad.
The trauma center created 40 new staff positions and 15 different specialists.
"We have literally taught the whole staff about trauma. From the philosophy behind building a trauma center to how to manage specific trauma injuries," said Dr. Ang.
While staff members are excited to be part of the new center, residents like Russell feel more comfortable knowing if the unpredicatble comes along, she won't have to go so far from home.
"It's more convenient. I won't have to go out of town to get quick action," said Russell.
Dr. Ang also said that before paramedics and in some cases law enforcement officers would have to drive an ambualnce to Gainesville or Tampa.
Having a trauma center in the area means they can stay within the county and take care of other people who might need their services.
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