JPS Health Network is launching GT-55, the first geriatric trauma program in Tarrant County, adding a team of advanced practitioners and instituting new protocols to get patients 55 and older to surgery more quickly, assigning them priority access to operating rooms.
Many people don’t consider 55 geriatric. But trauma statistics do. A 55-year-old accident victim is more likely to die or suffer debilitating complications than a younger adult with similar injuries. The increase is so well documented that the American College of Surgeons now recommends that patients 55-plus be considered for transport to a Trauma Center, rather than the nearest hospital, without regard to the severity of their injuries.
"No one would treat a child the same way that they would treat an adult. Likewise, adults in their 50s are not simply older adults. There are physiological differences,” said Raj Gandhi, MD, chief of trauma surgery at JPS, home of Tarrant County’s only Level I Trauma Center. “As the population ages, most traumatologists recognize that this program is the next evolution in trauma care."
GT-55 will begin in January. It will be the only comprehensive geriatric trauma program in Tarrant County and one of just two programs serving all of North Texas. The other geriatric trauma program in the region is Methodist Dallas Medical Center’s G-60 service.