Dr. Peter Rhee is head of UMC\\u0027s Level 1 Trauma Center

Doctor Peter Rhee is a United States Navy veteran who has taken care of the injured in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Washington DC and Los Angeles.

Since coming to Tucson in 2007 to head the Trauma Center at University Medical Center, he has been focusing on many issues that are important to this community, including one that can help protect children in our great outdoors. For example, Dr. Rhee says All Terrain Vehicles are killing and injuring more children and adults than guns although the vehicles are often considered safe because of their sturdy construction and typically slower speeds than cars or motorcycles. Dr. Rhee says a rock or hole in the ground can flip an ATV onto its driver or passenger and lead to catastrophic results.

Dr. Rhee also wants residents to realize that since UMC has the only level 1 trauma center in Tucson, some injured people should be taken directly there instead of the nearest hospital. He says this can reduce delays that could pose serious dangers to patients, including death. One common example deals with people who have had head injuries: There may no visible sign of injury such as cuts or exterior bleeding, but severe internal damage could be present. "When in doubt" says Dr. Rhee, "head to the Trauma Center."

Dr. Rhee says there are current plans to open a second trauma center in the community although it won't be just like the present location at UMC.

May is National Trauma Awareness Month.