Wake Forest Baptist Treating Patients Injured in School Explosion

June 4, 2004


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The emergency department at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is now treating 14 patients who were injured in an explosion this morning at Northwest Middle School, and more patients are expected to arrive shortly.

Physicians and nurses have determined that three of the patients are in critical condition.

“We are well-equipped to handle this emergency,” said Vardaman Buckalew, M.D., chief of professional services. “Our trauma center is prepared around the clock, so we had staff on hand to immediately begin treatment."

News media may call the Office of Public Relations and Marketing for updated information. News media coming to the Medical Center should report to the Media Center at the MRI Building, directly across from the Main Entrance on Medical Center Boulevard.

Wake Forest Baptist operates North Carolina’s only Level I Pediatric and Adult Trauma Center accredited by the National Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons.

The State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Commission calls it “a showcase trauma center for the state of North Carolina.” The center handles the state’s most severe trauma cases according to trauma discharge data.

Key elements of a Level I trauma center include 24-hour, in-house availability by trauma surgeons and availability of care in specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, and critical care. Other capabilities include cardiac, hand, pediatric and microvascular surgery, and hemodialysis.


Contact: Media call center at (336) 716-4587.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. It is licensed to operate 1,282 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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