The Surgeons at Anacapa Surgical Associates provide trauma coverage to its affiliated adult, level II Trauma Center (Ventura County Medical Center – VCMC). VCMC was designated Ventura County’s west end trauma center by the Emergency Medical Service Agency in 2010, and verified by the American College of Surgeons in 2011. It has since been re-verified twice; 2014, and 2017. The Trauma department is headed by Dr. Thomas K. Duncan, Co-Director of Anacapa Surgery Associates, while the Deputy Trauma Director is Dr. Casey Barbaro.

We follow the stringent guidelines set by the American College of Surgeons, in providing optimum care of the injured patient. Care is provided in a multidisciplinary team approach, in order to attain best outcomes, in practicing evidence based medicine. Immediately available specialties (apart from Trauma Surgeons) include: Emergency Medicine, Anesthesia, Critical Care, Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Vascular, Radiology, Interventional Radiology, Plastics, Oral Maxillo Facial Surgery, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), Neurology, Internal Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pulmonary, Thoracic, Renal, Pain Management, and Obstetrics/Gynecology.

Our trauma patient volume has risen from 800 on inception to over 1,300 in 2013, and the volume remains steady at about 1,200 on a yearly basis. Though we are in the business to cure patients, we are also driven to provide injury prevention, and have a robust injury prevention department. Because head injuries are potentially preventable, we have a helmet program that provides helmets to victims riding moving cycles that either lacked a helmet when involved in the crash, had a destroyed helmet, or sustained a head injury because of absence of wearing one. A car seat program is provided to the community, for proper car seat installation. Safety walking/crossing is another program provided, as well as a drive safety program (Smart Start) for new drivers. Over the past several years, we have been involved in the ‘Every Fifteen Minutes’ distracted driving event, which is held at either Ventura High school, or Foothill High school. We are also involved in screening our trauma patients for drugs and alcohol, and providing appropriate counseling as needed. Because elderly fall related injuries is a nationwide problem, we have formed a countywide Elderly Fall Coalition, to aid in curbing such preventable mishaps. This coalition puts on two falls awareness promoting forums, yearly (English, and Bilingual). In addition, a countywide Violence Intervention Program (Emergency Entry to Exit) has been developed, to assist in directing youth towards a pathway of less violence, and more education. As such, we are part of the National Network of Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs (NNHVIP). With the on-going world-wide incidence of disasters, we have joined the American College of Surgeons ‘Stop the Bleed’ campaign, by offering ‘Stop the Bleed’ courses to the community at large. This course trains lay people on how to control life-threatening bleeding, with the use of a tourniquet, or wound packing.

On a national level, we are involved in the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, by contributing to injury prevention documents and protocols. We are also highly invested in development of multi-institutional trauma practice guidelines by membership in the Eastern Association of the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) injury care and violence prevention committee. In addition, we have been a part of providing a distracted driving and careers in medicine outreach presentation, to a high school in the city of the national meeting (over the past 5 years). Recently, the EAST has joined the ‘Stop the Bleed’ campaign, by providing such courses in the city of the scientific meeting. We are also routinely represented at other national meetings by giving presentations, such as: the American College of Surgeons, and American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST), amongst others.

It is our goal to provide the highest quality of care to our patients who have suffered a devastating injury. Due to the pain, suffering, and post traumatic stress that usually accompanies such injuries, we aim to treat our patients expeditiously, limit their pain, and provide an environment of emotional balance, so that the healing process can take place – which ultimately leads to a return to function, hopefully, matching their mental and physical capability before the mishap.

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