Inside the best trauma center in the world
BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- As the death toll in Baltimore City rises, some doctors at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center are feeling the emotional challenges when it comes to treating patients.
"The violence is palpably different. You can feel it," said Dr. Thomas Scalea, physician-in-chief at Shock Trauma. "It's even tougher when you go down and you remember the mom from last year and it's her second kid that we've cared for. Pretty tough."
As of December 29, more than 340 people have been murdered in the city. In 2014, there were 209 homicides. In December of last year, the city had 13 murders, compared to 32 this year.
Shock Trauma sees most of those victims.
"Nobody needs to get shot. There's nothing about living in the U.S. in 2015 that means it's okay for someone to get shot," Scalea said.
The hospital is considered the best trauma center in the world, touting a 97-percent survival rate.
Scalea says it's a job where doctors don't get to grieve.
"Each of us figures out a way to deal with that and then at some point you have to go do something to get rid of it," Scalea said. "You have to put it away. You have to recognize the phone is going to ring in three minutes and maybe another kid who got shot is coming in or maybe someone hurt in a car crash. If you're emotionally still on the last person, you're not bringing you're A-game to the next person, and that's not okay."
He says he spends about an hour a day in the gym.
"I either lift or ride the bike or get on the elliptical. It's my way of getting rid of the bad feelings," Scalea said.
Next month, viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look inside Shock Trauma.
The Discovery Life Channel will air a docudrama called 'Shock Trauma: Edge of Life' on January 1. The medical series will air at 10 p.m. and will run through the first week of February. It's produced by Susan Hadary of MedSchool Maryland Productions.
Viewers will get to see the hospital's medical team treat serious injuries, like vehicle crashes, gunshot wounds and severe brain trauma.
"They do a superbly good job. They're a high quality group of people. They do good work and we feel we've got a great story to tell," Scalea said.
Stories like new life saving technology and expanding education with a new simulation center.
"We've already radically expanded the amount of education and change the way we do it because
we're able to simulate scenarios. That, in my mind, is an incredibly powerful educational tool," Scalea said.