Newswise — On an early morning last December, a van making a turn onto the BQE struck a female pedestrian at a crosswalk, dragging her 30 feet before coming to a stop. The 911 dispatcher alerted the closest Level I hospital – the trauma team at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn. They responded immediately to save her life.

Every second counts for patients suffering life-threatening injuries, and the trauma unit at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn provides 24-hour coverage to meet that urgent need.  Accredited by the American College of Surgeons, it is one of the few in the borough certified to handle the most severe injuries.

Galina Glinik, MD, a former medical worker in the Soviet-Afghan war, serves as the program’s interim director, and leads a team of physicians specializing in critical care and trauma surgery: Patricia R. Ayoung-Chee, MD, MPH; Helen T. Davido, MD; Pieter Smit, MD; Nicole D. Goulet, MD; and Onaona Gurney, MD.

“It’s vitally important to be able to rapidly assign priorities and determine the resources and personnel needed,” Glinik says. “There are many things happening simultaneously to save a patient’s life during a trauma call.” 

As the Level I alert was broadcast that December morning, 15 to 20 additional specialists responded with the trauma team to the Emergency Department. The patient arrived awake, agitated, and in a state of distress with internal bleeding. The team worked quickly to stabilize and assess her injuries.

“Responding to trauma can be exhilarating, particularly when we can stabilize quickly so that other life-saving procedures can be started,” says Glinik. “The young woman suffered multiple internal injuries, including collapsed lungs and many broken bones. We were not sure if she would survive.”

Thomas Lyon, MD, chief of orthopedic surgery at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn, who completed a fellowship at R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center, one of the country’s top trauma facilities, worked with the team to repair the patient’s multiple fractures. “Her breathing and other medical conditions had to be addressed before the most serious orthopedic injury—a broken pelvis—could be secured,” he says. 

The patient survived, and even visited the hospital months after the accident to personally thank the team that saved her.

More About the Trauma Unit and Dr. Glinik

The trauma center at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn is one of the busiest in New York State. Annually, it treats approximately 2,100 cases with injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes, contact sports, falls, assaults, gunshots, stab wounds, and other accidents. A variety of surgical and medical specialists are required to be available 24/7 to assist whenever necessary. Additionally, hospital outreach workers provide safety training and injury prevention workshops in the community.

Glinik studied neurosurgery at the Minsk State Medical Institute. After emigrating from Belarus in 1990s, she went on to earn her medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine and completed residency training at The Brooklyn Hospital Center and fellowship in surgical critical care at North Shore University Hospital.

“It should be of great assurance to our community that NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn has a top-tier, highly experienced trauma team,” says Prashant Sinha, MD, chief of surgery at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn. “While they work with precision in the acute setting, they also pay close attention to patient’s physical and emotional needs in their recovery.”