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The Maryland Committee on Trauma continues their commitment to the delivery of quality education and training; embracing state of the art clinical practices and technologies. 

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Code Red Extreme Heat Alert Declared

The Health Commissioner declares a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert during periods of extreme heat. The decision to activate a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert on a particular day will be made before 6 A.M. of that day, if possible.

Individuals unsure of whether a Code Red Extreme Heat Alert is in effect can call 311 for details. 311 operators will provide cooling center locations, safety tips, and information about warning signs for heat-related illness.

Individuals can also call 311 to report specific concerns about vulnerable neighbors on Code Red Extreme Heat Alert days. Call 911 if you are having a heat-related emergency.


Ocean City Beach Patrol members use Stop the Bleed kit to save surfer’s life.

On Sunday afternoon, a surfer was airlifted from Ocean City to Shock Trauma in Baltimore for severe blood loss. Capt. Butch Arbin said if it weren’t for the immediate actions of beach patrol staff, and the use of a Stop the Bleed kit, the man would not have survived. 

“We’ve never, in the history of the beach patrol, had a severe bleed like this,” he said, “not ever.”

Arbin said Ocean City Beach Patrol’s surf beach facilitator crew chief, Katie Gresier, responded to a young man who had cut his leg on the skeg of his surfboard while surfing at the beach near 38th Street on Sunday. He noted that the fin had cut through the man’s wetsuit and into an artery in his leg. 

Emergency Medical Services Providers of the Year
Timothy Hackett, NRP
Evan Kinsley, NRP
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service

Paramedics Hackett and Kinsley arrived to private residence and discovered an adult male who had sustained a deep laceration to his neck.  The injury partially transected his trachea with ongoing hemorrhage into the airway.  They were able to suction and then secure the airway with an endotracheal tube and to control the bleeding with packing of the wound. 

They sedated the agitated patient and ensured safe transport to the trauma center for definitive care.  The life-saving actions of Paramedics Hackett and Kinsley exemplify the excellence of Maryland Emergency Medical Service providers in caring for their fellow Marylanders in times of critical need.

Nurse of the Year
Kristina Belt, MSN, RN
Sinai Hospital of Baltimore

Ms. Kristina Belt is a recognized trauma leader at Sinai Hospital.  She chairs the Emergency Department Trauma Committee and is responsible for many of the ED’s trauma care protocols.  Her process to ensure timely antibiotic administration for open fractures led to 100% compliance within one hour of ED arrival. 

On December 2023, Ms. Belt was working in the Sinai Pediatric ED when a 17-year-old patient arrived after being struck by a vehicle at low speed.  Ms. Belt recognized that the patient’s mechanism on injury merited a trauma evaluation and directed expedient CT imaging led to prompt identification of bilateral rib fractures, hemopneumothorax and a liver laceration.  Ms. Belt’s dedication to trauma care exemplifies the excellence of Maryland nurses in delivering outstanding trauma care to their fellow Marylanders.

Our State Chair

Maryland has the distinction of hosting one of the best organized and most collaborative trauma care systems in the United States.  Its nine trauma centers are situated to cover not only the heavily populated urban and suburban area, but also the far rural regions as well.  The Maryland State Chapter of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT) has the privilege of supporting this provision of care, serving as a liaison with the ACS-COT for trauma surgeons and other providers.  Drawing members from all over the state and from multiple specialties, the Maryland State Committee on Trauma (MD-COT) strives to fulfill a comprehensive mission proffered by the ACS-COT including active participation in governmental advocacy, education and continuous quality assessment. 

The MD-COT is particularly successful in the realm of education.  Under the previous outstanding leadership of past State Chairs Sharon Henry, MD, FACS, and Dany Westerband, MD, FACS, the MD-COT has come to offer the full range of trauma related courses promulgated by the ACS-COT including Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM), Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma (ASSET),  Disaster Management and Emergency Preparedness (DMEP), Rural Trauma Team Development (RTTD), Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) and Basic Endovascular Skills for Trauma (BEST).  The MD-COT is one of very few locations to offer this full spectrum of education.  

Maryland’s Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) program has been cited as one of the best in the country, serving as a model of excellence to the ATLS principles of learning.  Our course site was one of the first nationally to introduce the ATLS 10th edition curriculum. We are a global course site welcoming international students along with all local and national students to our ATLS Courses. Through a strong and collegial partnership between the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Advanced Trauma Operative Management (ATOM) courses are also taught using experienced surgical faculty and a state-of-the-art animal lab. The Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma (ASSET) is another successful hands-on training opportunity for surgeons given quarterly in the modernized cadaver lab at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Both the ATOM and ASSET courses are well established and offer outstanding surgical skills training for all trauma providers. With pride, the Maryland COT celebrates the milestones of 15 years of ATOM and 10 years of ASSET courses successfully achieved.  In addition, the Basic Endovascular Skills for Trauma (BEST) was introduced at our course site in 2016 and is now offered bi-monthly. Disaster Management and Emergency Preparedness (DMEP), along with Tactical Combat casualty Care (TCCC) are held twice a year. Upon request Rural Trauma Team Development (RTTD) can be scheduled.   The MD-COT has also helped spearhead the promulgation of Stop the Bleed training to the lay public here in Maryland.  This committee serves as a reliable link to arrange for training for all individuals upon request.

In addition to the ACS curricular course, one of the highlights for our committee each year is our participation in planning the annual ACS Point Counterpoint Conference spotlighting nationally recognized experts in the fields of trauma and acute care and providing current, cutting edge presentations.  Proceeds from this conference have allowed generous support of the National ACS-COT paper competition, an important venue to not only showcase scholarly projects for trauma performance improvement, but one that serves to stimulate the careers of trainees with aspirations to be future trauma surgeons. 

As our Maryland COT moves forward in the new decade, we look forward to continuing our commitment to excellence, both to care of our patients in Maryland as well as for the advancement of trauma care.  


David T. Efron, MD, FACS
State Chair