Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sami's Story - an International Success

I am a surgeon in the Department of Paediatric Surgery at University Children‘s Hospital (UKBB) in Basel, Switzerland.  Only one week after the first Global Cast/Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma international webinar on pediatric trauma management in 2012, we were able to save the life of a five-year-old boy, Sami, using techniques learned during the webinar. 

Sami was injured on a Swiss mountain farm - his abdomen was crushed between the tire of a tractor and a gate post. He immediately complained of severe abdominal pain and became very pale. At the regional trauma hospital, a CT scan revealed massive amounts of free fluid in his abdomen and thorax, which was due to bleeding of the liver, pancreas and spleen.

When he arrived by helicopter transport at our pediatric trauma center, his body was suffering from severe hemorrhagic shock. As recommended in the pediatric trauma webinar, my team utilized the new concept of damage control resuscitation and surgery to treat Sami's condition.

Sami underwent an emergency laparotomy to stop the ongoing abdominal hemorrhage.  The bleeding sites of the liver, spleen, and pancreas were controlled in the two-hour procedure and two parts of the spleen were preserved. Immediately after his surgery, Sami was transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit for further care.

Four weeks after his injury, Sami returned to his mountain farm home and has been well ever since. The pediatric-trauma-specific education provided by the webinar and the Childress Institute helped us to save the life of this five-year-old boy. The suggestions and opinions of the panelists that participated in the webinar were very helpful in the postoperative management of Sami.

Knowledge gained from these webinars is of considerable value, especially since it is not freely available elsewhere. It is even more valuable to the families that benefit directly. Everyone counts on the fact that a child’s doctor or surgeon knows the best procedure in an emergency, and these webinars connect us across the world in ways we usually cannot on our own. Having access to innovative techniques saves lives. Sami is one of them.

- Dr. Johannes Mayr

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