Caela, a woman in her 20s, comes in to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center with a gunshot wound to the belly.
A pregnant woman named Nikeara is brought to the center after a car crash. When Tiffany falls backwards down a flight of stairs, her daughter finds her unconscious and the Shock Trauma staff thinks she has a “brain bleed.”
They’re all part of the opening episode of “Shock Trauma: Edge of Life,” an unscripted docudrama series beginning next month on the Discovery Life channel. Filmed at the Cowley center, part of the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, future episodes will include people injured in the April 2015 protests that followed the death in police custody of Freddie Gray — as well as victims of crime, motorcycle crashes, ATV accidents and frostbite.
The center, which treats more than 8,000 critically injured people a year, claims a 97 percent survival rate. It’s named for its founder, the groundbreaking trauma physician who coined the term “golden hour,” the crucial time right after severe injury when speedy intervention can save lives. In the 1970s, Cowley advocated for changes in emergency procedures, urging ambulance and helicopter crews to stop automatically taking severely injured patients to the nearest hospital, instead taking them to a trauma center better equipped to treat them quickly and effectively. Today most emergency services follow Cowley’s model.
The series will begin Friday, Jan. 1, at 10 p.m.