14 MAY 2014

Every 15 Minutes

Dr. Jeffrey Dembner frowned as the young patient tried to wiggle her toes. 

"I'm going to pinch your toes, tell me if you can feel this."

Jamie Moe, 17, shook her head. 

"I'm afraid you might be paralyzed," the neurosurgeon informed her, as cameras filmed in the trauma bay of the NorthBay Medical Center Emergency Department. 

"Are you sure?" she asked. 

"No, we can never be sure. That's why we need to check it out," he explained. 

It was all part of the "Every 15 Minutes" drill that started at Rio Vista High School on the morning of May 1. The two-day exercise involved a crash, staged on the high school football field, and a schoolwide assembly in which students had a chance to learn first-hand about the dangers of drinking and driving. 

NorthBay Medical Center staff participated for the third time in six years. (Rio Vista High performs the exercise every other year.) 

A film crew recorded the action as three students were brought to NorthBay Medical Center and a fourth flown to Kaiser Permanente in Vacaville. A "mockumentary" was shown on May 2 at the high school, and a mock funeral staged for the young patient who "died" at the Kaiser facility. 

"It's powerful stuff," said Trauma Medical Director Dr. Pete Zopfi. "The goal is to make the kids think twice about drinking and driving." "It's a great program," agreed Heather Venezio, R.N., Trauma Program director. "We wish other schools in our area would participate. 

It's a good opportunity for our team to run through the drill, and it's a good opportunity to drive a valuable message home to the kids."

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