St. Luke's Children's Trauma Program Helping Kids Like Brinley


Idaho is one of only seven states without a verified pediatric trauma program (verification expected in Fall 2020). In the absence of pediatric trauma, children are treated in adult settings, leading to complications and challenges.

To ensure children in our community have access to the most advanced and comprehensive services when they need it most, St. Luke’s Children’s is implementing a Level II Verified Pediatric Trauma Program on its downtown Boise campus. Pediatric trauma services at St. Luke's will mean better outcomes from unfortunate accidents and events and specialized services that keep kids close to home.

Two and a half years of focused preparation included over 7,000 of hours of training and simulations by more than 350 providers and staff including first responders, emergency department, surgical specialists, the operating room, Pediatric ICU, Pharmacy, Laboratory and blood bank. On April 15, 2019 St. Luke's Children’s opened its doors to pediatric trauma patients.

The team’s training was put to work immediately, and in the first 170 days, St. Luke's Children’s cared for 68 trauma patients. Recent traumas include ATV accidents, encounters with livestock, water injuries, and car accidents. By providing a dedicated pediatric trauma program, these patients will have fewer operations, lower mortality, and improved outcomes. The volume of patients and diversity of their needs has proven how vital these services are in our community.

Brinley’s Story
Just 12 days after St. Luke's Children’s launched its pediatric trauma program, a little girl in Hammett, Idaho endured life-threatening injuries on her family’s farm. Ten-year-old Brinley was trampled by a cow, resulting in four broken ribs, a collapsed and punctured lung, and a lacerated liver and spleen. She suffered a stroke due to her injuries, had immense internal bleeding, and swelling on her brain. She was in an out of consciousness as she was transported by helicopter to St. Luke's Children’s in Boise.

“It was the most terrifying sight any parent has ever seen, but at the same time most magical thing, watching the teamwork. It seemed like there were 30 people working on her at once but working as one,” says stepmom Jessica.

After being stabilized and transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Brinley was put in a medically induced coma for a week to control her pain and allow her body to rest. She had multiple chest tubes, blood transfusions, and ventilators to support her healing.

Once her heart rate was controlled, she was able to come out of the coma and start the rehabilitation process. Brinley spent and additional two weeks at St. Luke's Children’s before being transferred for a week of intensive rehab. She is now home and recovering with her family.

Charity Name
St. Luke's Regional Medical Center
Photo Caption
Brinley out riding her horse on the family farm after her recovery
Photo Credit
Jessica Oldham