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Patient Information


He was born at Inova Fairfax Hospital and nearly died there after being shot. Meet Joe Sakran, MD, who has now dedicated his life to medicine, after his life was saved by the team at Inova.
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Frequently asked questions


Who responds to accident victims?

Highly trained Fairfax County emergency medical system (EMS) personnel respond immediately upon receiving a 911 call. Basic life support arrives within four to six minutes. Advanced life support arrives within four to seven minutes of a 911 call.

Trauma patients are brought to Inova Trauma Center by ground or air, depending on the severity of their injuries, travel distance and traffic conditions. Both the Fairfax County police helicopter and PHI AirCare helicopters fly critically injured patients to the trauma center.

At Inova Trauma Center, a team of trauma responders is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to receive trauma patients into two fully equipped trauma bays. Board-certified specialty physicians are available at all times.


Once at the trauma center, in what order do patients receive care?

Patients are treated based on the severity of their injuries. We use specific designations to ensure that the most severely injured patients receive care first.

Code Blue patients are severely injured with unstable vital signs. EMS personnel notify our staff via pager that a Code Blue patient is enroute to the trauma center. A Code Blue team assembles immediately to meet the patient and continue care. The team includes a trauma surgeon, emergency medicine physician, senior surgical resident, trauma nurses and other care providers.

Code Yellow patients are seriously injured but have stable vital signs. The trauma team shifts to meet the needs of these patients and provide appropriate care as quickly as possible.

Emergency treatment or surgery is provided as needed. Patients are then admitted to an appropriate nursing unit in the hospital for continuing care.


What is involved with airlifting a patient to the trauma center?

PHI AirCare is owned and operated by PHI, Inc., and contracts with Inova as its preferred provider for medical helicopter transport service. PHI, Inc., is one of the largest and most respected helicopter transport providers in the nation. The state-of-the-art helicopter is an airborne intensive care unit. PHI AirCare’s highly trained and nationally accredited staff remain in close contact with emergency professionals on the ground until arrival at the trauma center.


Who travels with the patient in the helicopter?

An experienced critical care nurse and a registered paramedic are always on board to monitor the patient and to provide emergency treatment during the flight. The air medical crews maintain competencies in all aspects of pre-hospital emergency patient care.