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Brazil Looks to University of Maryland for Shock Trauma Model

7 January 2013 No Comment

Deana Holler (far left) with physician and nurse leaders from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Photo by Linda Praley).


As Brazil prepares to host the soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics two years later, health care leaders there are working with the University of Maryland to improve Brazil’s trauma system for the athletes as well as for fans, supporters, and the millions of Rio de Janeiro residents. 

After researching the best trauma networks worldwide, Brazil is modeling its plan after the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). Early last year, Brazilian physicians and nurse leaders trained at UMMC for four weeks and the Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) in Washington, D.C., for two weeks. 

“CNMC provided their expertise in pediatric trauma to support our efforts,” says Gretchen Swimmer, MSB, global market development manager at UMMC. 

At UMMC, the Brazilian team received training under Carnell Cooper, MD, clinical associate professor at the School of Medicine; Deana Holler, MS, RN, trauma nurse coordinator at Shock Trauma; and Karen McQuillan, MS, RN, CNS-BC, CCRN, CNRN, clinical nurse specialist at UMMC. 

McQuillan designed the education curriculum, which consisted of didactics, simulations, unit-based observations, and pairing like-minded professionals. Topics included trauma center care, quality improvement, and teamwork. 

“Brazil saw the importance of working together as a team,” says Swimmer, who was one of the first UMMC staff members to visit Brazil to assess its current systems. 

Brazil has a sophisticated emergency management system, says Holler, but currently there are no trauma centers and there is no triage system. 

“Brazil wanted to improve their outcomes when it comes to the care of trauma patients,” says Holler. 

The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center is the first trauma center established in the United States. University alumnus R Adams Cowley, MD ’44, for whom the center is named, revolutionized the idea that stabilizing patients in the first hour after a traumatic injury increases their chance of survival. 

“It’s been extremely rewarding to share our expertise around the world,” says McQuillan. 

Brazil will open its first trauma hospital, Hospital Estadual Alberto Torres, this year, with plans to build three more trauma hospitals and a rehabilitation hospital. 

“This type of recognition showcases the University of Maryland brand and that we’re a global leader in health care,” says Swimmer. 

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