Exceptional in an Emergency situation

While Dr. John Fildes’ interest in medication began as a child, it was what he saw operating in a hospital during college that stimulated his interest in injury care.

Working in a range of hospital tasks in New York state, Fildes stated he saw lots of people pass away following car wrecks and commercial mishaps– people he thought might have been saved if the medical facility had had much better intense care capabilities.

Today Fildes serves as the inaugural chair of the UNLV School of Medicationsurgery department and is understood worldwide for his work in injury medicine.

In the Start

He initially ended up being interested in medicine as a kid. “I decided extremely early on after a few injuries and health problems that I wished to be trained in medication– that I had to find out a body of understanding that was big and intricate,” stated Fildes, who grew up in New York. “A great deal of kids wished to be astronauts with NASA at that time. I wished to operate in human service, to straight assist individuals.”

He majored in biomedical engineering, graduating with honors from Union College in Schenectady, New York. While there he operated at a regional health center as an orderly, pathology aide, and EKG service technician.

That’s when he saw the need for enhanced surgical critical care– trauma medication.

Later on he graduated from medical school at the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. He then completed a residency and fellowship in general surgery at Bronx-Lebanon Medical facility in New York and a fellowship in surgical critical care, burns, and injury at Chicago’s Cook County Health center. Both hospitals dealt with a substantial volume of clients who are crime victims, frequently showing up in crucial condition from shootings or stabbings.

Making a Distinction

” It boggled the mind what we saw there,” said Fildes, who has actually been a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons because 1990. “I found that I was excellent under pressure, that I was making a difference in individuals’s lives.”

In the ’90s he ended up being president of the Chicago Metropolitan Trauma Society and made leadership positions with the Metropolitan Chicago Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. His research on shock and treatment of hypothermia included publications in the highly respected Journal of Trauma and the American Journal of Surgical Treatment.

In 1996 after operating at the Las Vegas campus of the UNR Medical School, he became director of the UMC Trauma Center. UMC offers Nevada’s only level-1 trauma center, only pediatric trauma center and just burn center. Under his assistance, UMC, which is the primary training hospital for the UNLV School of Medicine, has become one of the national leaders in injury care. Of those who get here alive at the trauma center, a complete 96 percent make it through.

According to the federal Centers for Illness Control and Prevention, if you are seriously hurt, getting care at a level-I trauma center can lower your risk of death by 25 percent.

What It Takes

“I try to find surgeons who show grace under pressure, who have the ability to run under uncertain conditions,” said Fildes, who has worked as a consultant to American surgeons working on soldiers injured in Afghanistan. “They require to go from no to 100 miles an hour in five minutes.”

Given his success in Chicago and Nevada, the American College of Surgeons positioned him on its developing National Injury Data Bank Committee.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Fildes’ deal with the injury information bank became nationally recognized. After he and others were called to testify before the U.S. Senate, he contributed in collecting info on the country’s trauma centers, finding out just what they can and what they were really doing.

“It informs policymakers in real time (about) what’s occurring in the United States,” stated Fildes, who became nationwide chair of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma in 2006. “Without information, you can’t plan. We require to build systems of care based upon data– even the wearing of bike helmets is based upon data sets.”

In July 2008, Fildes developed the nation’s first severe care surgery fellowship program at UMC.


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