KENDALL (CBS4) – As preparations move into the final stages at Kendall Regional Medical Center to become Miami-Dade County’s second adult trauma center, the hospital’s new helipad was put to the test Monday.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue personnel performed a series of practice landings with their Air Rescue chopper on the hospital’s helipad.
“It’s vital to have another trauma system for adult trauma here in the western part of the county,” said Kendall Regional Medical Center CEO Scott Cihak.
When preparations are complete the hospital, at 11750 Bird Road, will be able to provide licensed Provisional II Trauma Services to Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, also known as Trauma Service Area 19.
“There’s a definite need for more trauma centers in the area,” said Dr. Mark McKenny, Chief of Trauma.
Currently, only the Ryder Trauma Center at the Jackson Memorial Hospital provides trauma services to this area.
“By having another trauma facility here in Dade County, we’ll definitely be able to impact and reduce mortality of patients that are experiencing trauma,” said Cihak.
The hospital has built a helipad, two trauma rooms, and hired an around-the-clock team of trauma surgeons and nurses.
“It was like a dream come true. We’ve been working in this for many months, Kendall Regional Medical Center has been working on this for several years and it’s all coming to fruition now,” explained Dr. McKenny.
According to Cihak, 2,500 patients a year in Miami-Dade County experience trauma but they’re treated at an emergency room that does not have trauma services.
Now Kendall Regional hopes to fulfill that need.
Hospital officials say they should receive their official accreditation from the Florida Department of Health in October and plan to have the new trauma center up and running by November.
“Getting a patient to a trauma center within the first hour of injury, or golden hour, drastically increases their chance of survival,’” said HCA’s Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Perlin in a statement. “Research supported by the Centers for Disease Control shows trauma mortality is reduced when a seriously injured patient is treated at a trauma center versus a non-trauma hospital.”
According to HCA, only about 38% of trauma patients in the state receive treatment in a licensed trauma center. The number is well below the national average and the state’s goal to have 65 percent of trauma patients treated in a Florida licensed trauma center.
The Florida Department of Health has identified a need for a total of six adult trauma programs in the Miami-Dade and Monroe county areas.