Press Centre

Trauma: Level One

  • Episode: 

    1 of 1

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Tue 03 Dec 2013
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    10.35pm - 11.35pm
  • Week: 

    Week 49 2013 : Sat 30 Nov - Fri 06 Dec
  • Channel: 

  • Status: 

Embargo: The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 26 November 2013.
“Trauma happens in a certain unexpected, unanticipated, often undeserved way. It’s that Sliding Doors moment - maybe if something had been just a little bit different, their lives wouldn’t have been changed forever.” - Dr Iain Beardsell,  consultant in emergency medicine at Southampton University Hospital
This new documentary for ITV follows the work of staff at Southampton’s major trauma centre as they receive and treat patients with serious and life-threatening injuries.
Produced by October Films, Trauma: Level One offers a rare insight into how the trauma centre at Southampton University Hospital works with access to initial rescues by air ambulance, dramatic scenes in the operating theatre and candid interviews with the doctors on the frontline of trauma medicine as they go about their work.
From the treatment of road crash victims to paragliders who have come crashing to earth, this programme shows how  the centre's staff prepare for a patient, operate on them - sometimes in life-threatening circumstances - and help them on their way to recovery. It also focuses on the emotional impact on the victims and their loved ones when faced with trauma.
Featured in the second episode are:
Peter Connolly, who is airlifted to the trauma centre with life-threatening chest and spinal injuries after falling 30ft onto a hillside when his paraglider fails. He’s stabilised but when further complications occur, his life once again hangs in the balance. He needs surgery but due to his spinal injuries, this procedure comes with the risk of being paralysed.
Harry Leake, a nine-year-old boy who is brought in with multiple life-threatening injuries after being hit by a motorcycle. There, Harry begins to ‘shut down’ and there are concerns he may have a brain injury, which particularly concerns Harry’s father Warren, who suffered brain damage in a car crash.
Shannon Wylie, a 20-year-old who was hit by a car, breaking her pelvis which means she needs emergency surgery to prevent potentially life-threatening internal bleeding. Her family express their concerns that she might never walk again.
The moment Peter hits the ground when his paraglider’s wing breaks is captured on his head-mounted camera. His partner Jill explains her shock at hearing about incident. She says: “At one stage I remember lying down on the waiting room floor thinking, ‘I don’t think Peter is going to get through this. He looked so bad. I don’t think he’s going to come back.’”
Following treatment in the trauma centre he’s moved to the hospital’s intensive care unit, where his injuries mean doctors have to operate to avoid a cardiac arrest. Intensive care consultant Dr Dominic Richardson says recovering from severe injuries like Peter has suffered takes time: “Peter’s recovery is going to be gradual. People who have been critically ill often don’t realise how sick they were and then can get increasingly frustrated about why it takes so long for them to get better.”
After nine-year-old Harry is brought into the trauma centre, duty consultant Dr Sarah Robinson says treating children strikes a chord with staff: “For a lot of colleagues in the department it’s highly emotionally charged when it’s a child. The trauma team is much bigger when it’s a child as well.”
Dad Warren, who suffered brain injuries in a car crash, speaks of his emotions about Harry’s situation: “I just feel so sorry for him. I think he might have to go through what I went through and I think how hard it would be, and whether a nine year old boy can do it.”
Dr Vanessa Stanley, a consultant paediatric intensivist treating Harry, says being clear with a child’s parents on the potential consequences of a trauma from an early stage poses can be challenging: “I can’t tell them whether their child’s going to survive or not, and I can’t tell them whether they are going to have life-changing injuries. I suppose that’s probably the most difficult thing because almost always, we just don’t know in the beginning.”
When Shannon is brought into the trauma unit, she is taken for a scan which shows she has broken her pelvis. Surgeons must operate to prevent internal bleeding. Orthopaedic surgery consultant Dr Gorav Datta explains: “We are all standing around a patient and everyone’s interest is in stopping a patient from bleeding to death.”
Shannon’s boyfriend Ryan admits he feared she might be permanently paralysed: “I thought that she may not walk again. The pelvis is one of the hardest bones to break in your body and I thought if she has broken that in two places, I know it’s serious. I mean your spine is connected to it and what if something has happened to her spine? It was just that period of waiting between resuscitation and operation that I will never forget.”