sutures newsletter

PRODUCED BY AND FOR MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY October 2014 | Archived Issues

FDA Warns About Extended-Release Opioid Products

Pharmacy Focus

The federal Food and Drug Administration has added a boxed warning to long-acting extended-release opioid products, noting an increased risk of opioid addiction, abuse and misuse, potentially leading to overdose and death. Serious, life-threatening or fatal respiratory depression may occur.


Mark Your Calendar


Surgery Grand Rounds

Click the "read more" to see information about upcoming Surgery Grand Rounds.


Grand Rounds

Click here to view a schedule of all upcoming grand rounds.


Educational Schedule

Click a PDF link below to see the Department of Surgery's educational schedule.

Educational Schedule - October 2014 (PDF)

Educational Schedule - November 2014 (PDF)


Surgery Scheduling

Click the "read more" for hours and contact information for surgery scheduling.

Share Your News

Know an interesting colleague we should profile? A story we should tell? Submit your ideas, meetings and events for consideration.

Click here to submit your news to Sutures

Pursuing Continued Excellence as a Level I Trauma Center

By Daniel R. Margulies, MD
Section Chief, Trauma and Acute Care Services

As trauma continues to be the leading cause of death among children and adults under the age of 45, the Cedars-Sinai Trauma Program provides the necessary infrastructure to resuscitate, stabilize, support, recover and rehabilitate the most critically injured patients in our community.

As one of only four Level I trauma centers in Los Angeles County (covering a population of nearly 10 million residents), our program recently was reverified by the American College of Surgeons. Cedars-Sinai was first verified as a Level I trauma center in 1984 and has continued to be verified on each visit of a three-year cycle.

Field criteria for transport to a trauma center are determined by physiology and by the mechanism of injury, such as a gunshot wound, a stabbing, a high-speed motor vehicle collision or a fall of greater than 15 feet. L.A. County has strict predetermined areas designated for each trauma center. Cedars-Sinai's area is north of the 10 Freeway, west of Western Avenue, south of Victory Boulevard and east of Coldwater Canyon Drive. (Click the PDF link below for a map.)

In addition to caring for some of the sickest patients at Cedars-Sinai, the Trauma Program provides leadership in injury-prevention programs, research, education, community outreach and trauma system planning.

This past year, we welcomed back Rodrigo Alban, MD, to join our nationally recognized trauma faculty: Daniel Margulies, MD, Eric Ley, MD, Rex Chung, MD, Nicolas Melo and Matthew Bloom, MD. Alban, many may recall, completed his surgical residency here and obtained additional surgical critical-care fellowship training at Brigham and Women's Hospital, then spent four years in trauma and acute-care surgery in Orlando, Fla., before returning to L.A. We are pleased to have him rejoin our group.

Education and research continue to be priorities of our program. In the past three years, our trauma surgeons have had more than 42 trauma-related peer-reviewed publications. This research is presented in many trauma professional forums nationally.

Our research has focused on trauma outcomes, disease management, organ donation and traumatic brain injury. Besides this clinical research, Ley has a productive basic science lab focusing on the mechanism behind the beneficial effects of certain therapeutics such as beta blockers on severe traumatic brain injury.

Our trauma surgeons continue to represent Cedars-Sinai nationally and internationally as invited guest lecturers at many trauma conferences. We offer continuing medical education through forums such as trauma surgery grand rounds, Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses (ATCN), weekly case conferences and journal clubs.

ATLS was established here in 2000, and this year marks our 28th course. We have taken a leading role in promoting this course, training instructors, incorporating ATCN and helping establish the program at other local trauma centers.

The success of our trauma program is dependent on the outstanding administrative support led by our trauma nurse manager, Heidi Hotz, RN, and her exceptional team. Their tireless effort, commitment and hard work ensure we have the necessary resources to maintain our prestigious Level I trauma center status.

Aside from our trauma surgeons, the Cedars-Sinai Trauma Program is guided by the following team:

  • Heidi Hotz, RN, trauma program manager
  • Mario Trizzino, trauma registrar
  • Debbie Flores, RN, trauma registrar
  • Brandy Staniszeski, RN, trauma performance improvement coordinator
  • Donovan Stewart, BSN, RN, CN IV, trauma educator, injury prevention and outreach coordinator
  • Janice Polk, trauma management assistant

Cedars-Sinai Trauma Program Catchment Area (PDF)