The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour is defined as the time period of one hour in which the lives of a majority of critically injured trauma patients can be saved if definitive surgical intervention is provided. Only 60 minutes from the moment of injury to notify the police; dispatch an ambulance to the scene; transport the victim to a hospital; summon the appropriate surgical and support staff; and perform the necessary life-saving surgery.

Without an organized, regionalized system of emergency medical care, it is easy to imagine how that Golden Hour could tick away before each element of the trauma scenario could be completed. To prevent this unnecessarily tragic situation, the State of New Jersey designated three regional Level I trauma centers to serve its residents. Using criteria that was formulated from the MASH experience in Korea and Vietnam, the proven success of other states’ trauma systems and detailed guidelines from the American College of Surgeons, the State designated University Hospital as the Level I Trauma Center serving northern New Jersey.

Under the leadership of Dr. David Livingston, The New Jersey Trauma Center is proud of its role in New Jersey’s developing trauma care system and has committed its human and technological resources to improving outcomes in the treatment of trauma patients throughout northern New Jersey. Its success has been due, in large part, to the skill and cooperation of community-based professionals and volunteers. Local ambulance squads, regional MICU systems and emergency room physicians have had, and will continue to have, first contact with a large number of trauma patients. Their cooperation in identifying the percentage of cases that require the services of a Level I Trauma Center ensures that the critical first minutes of the Golden Hour are used most effectively.

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