Trauma Center Participates in "Every 15 Minutes" Program

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paramedics working with a patient

Demonstrates the risks of underage drinking and driving


San Jose, CA– The Trauma Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center is participating in the “Every 15 Minutes” program. Just as if they had been in a serious alcohol-related car crash, two high school students will be transported to the medical center by ambulance. The Trauma Team will attempt to resuscitate them.

This two-day program for high school juniors and seniors challenges them to think about drinking and driving. Every year students experience the emotional impact their decisions have on personal safety, family, friends, and other students.

The “victims” arrive at approximately at 12 noon. Hospital departments are instructed to respond as if there were an actual major trauma (as long as there is no interference with patient care). Family members also participate.

Reporters will be able to observe this unique and important simulation exposing teenagers and their families to the dangers of drinking and driving. Questions to and photos of participants and staff in this simulation will be permitted.

The “Every 15 Minutes” program name comes from the fact that in the 1990’s someone in the U.S. died in an alcohol-related traffic collision every 15 minutes. State laws and community programs have reduced this statistic to every 30 minutes, a figure that is still unacceptable.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.

Two Leland High School Students will be brought by ambulance to the SCVMC Emergency Department.


Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Emergency Department
751 South Bascom Avenue, San Jose


Please park in the two-story parking structure behind the Emergency Department. If you cannot find parking there, please contact the PIO. 

About the “Every 15 Minutes” Program

The “Every 15 Minutes” program simulates major traumas and the response by the Trauma Team and Trauma Surgeon. The Trauma Team simulates trauma resuscitations for these severely injured victims. Unfortunately, the victims’ injuries are not survivable and both victims die. During this time the victims’ families arrive at the Emergency Department. The families participate in a simulated death notification and are assisted by Social Services and the Trauma Team. They visit their family member in the trauma room before leaving the hospital. The day following the simulation, students participate in activities off-site with SCVMC Emergency Department and ICU nurse volunteers. Medical staff attend in order to share their experiences of caring for victims and families of alcohol related crashes with the students. 

In 2000, SCVMC Trauma Services, local law enforcement, fire departments, pre-hospital care providers (AMR), the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office, and a local mortuary formed a Santa Clara County “Every 15 Minutes” work group. The group partners with local high schools to implement “Every 15 Minutes” events. The program is funded by a California Office of Traffic Safety Grant administered by the CHP. SCVMC has actively participated in the “Every 15 Minutes” program since its inception.


With high-quality, specialized treatment for emergency medical care, trauma, burns, and rehabilitation from severe injuries, SCVMC provides essential community health services. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center is a public hospital owned and operated by the County of Santa Clara. ​​​​