Students Volunteer at Emergency Medicine Conference

Written by Catherine Lewis Saenz

The Rocky Mountain Trauma and Emergency Medicine Conference celebrated its 47th year of providing quality continuing education for emergency and trauma care providers. The master of ceremonies was Maria Moreira, MD, Emergency Medicine Specialist at Denver Health, while Reginald Francoise, MD, general surgeon, and RVU’s own Anthony J. LaPorta, MD, Director Emeritus of Military Medicine Program, served as Cut Suit® safety officers.

A highly anticipated portion of the conference was the Simulation Competition, which saw an audience of approximately 100 in attendance. The competition provides specialized education for physicians, nurses, and pre-hospital attendees. It also provides RVU students the opportunity to become involved as trauma patients (by wearing the Cut Suit®). The volunteers – Luka Bahra, OMS II; Karena Tien, OMS II; Victor Kuo, OMS I;, and Sam Santora, OMS II – had their vitals and real-time radiographs projected onto a large monitor for audience viewing.

In all, the competition featured four emergency room cases presented by teams of four to a panel of judges: a geriatric trauma case involving a head injury, elevated ICP, and a humorous fracture; a head and torso injury with unstable pelvis; a patient kicked off of a horse resulting in a head injury and pelvic and femur fractures; and a patient with neck pain and decreased motion to lower extremities, a c-spine fracture and neurogenic shock following a motorcycle crash with no helmet.

The judges – Ernest “Gene” Moore, MD, trauma surgeon; Fredric Pieracci, MD, ICU surgeon; Gene Hern, MS, MD, emergency medicine surgeon; and Aaron Eberhardt, emergency medicine surgeon – provided real-time feedback at the end of each case. Their insightful critique focused on teamwork, communication, and medical care. At the end of the simulated cases, Dr. Moreira said that “this competition just keeps getting better every year!”

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