Discovery Life Channel goes inside Baltimore's Shock Trauma Center

Discovery Life Channel goes inside Baltimore's Shock Trauma Center
More calls are coming in, and the board is filling up with patients whose lives are on the line at the Trauma Resuscitation Unit of the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. (Image courtesy of Discovery Life)

TV cameras are nothing new for Baltimore medical institutions.

In 2000, ABC News filmed a landmark documentary, "Hopkins 24/7," at Johns Hopkins  Hospital. The network followed up in 2008 with the docu-series, "Hopkins."


In 2012, the Discovery Health Channel presented "NICU," a docu-series about the neonatal intensive care unit at Mercy Medical Center.

And now comes the Discovery Life channel at 10 p.m. Friday with "Shock Trauma: Edge of Life," a six-part docu-series filmed at Baltimore's R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

One thing viewers should know about the series is that it is produced for the Discovery Life Channel by MedSchool Maryland Productions at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

According to a release at the medical center's website, "… The School of Medicine works closely with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide a research-intensive, academic and clinically based education."

The point: This is not an entirely independent production, as opposed to the one ABC News did with Hopkins in 2000.

That said, viewers should also know the supervising producer for "Shock Trauma" is Susan Hannah Hadary, an Oscar-winning filmamker in short documentary in 2000 for "King Gimp." She is the director of MedSchool Maryland Productions.

In the more than 15 years I have been reviewing her work, I cannot remember seeing anything by Hadary that I did not find worthy of praise.

Based on the one episode made available for viewing, "Shock Trauma" is no exception. It's intense and tick-tick-tick dramatic as it takes viewers inside the world of emergency medicine.

"A 25-year-old woman has been dropped in the hospital lobby. She's been shot," the narrator's voice says as the episode opens.

"The wound is excruciatingly painful and potentially deadly," the narration continues as the camera shows a young woman on a gurney being rushed down a hall. There's blood on her stomach, and she's groaning in pain.

The next patient to arrive is a pregnant woman who has been in a car accident. The crisis here involves trying to save her baby's life.

A third patient has fallen down the basement steps in her home and is bleeding badly from her head.

The episode moves swiftly and surely from patient to patient as medical workers try to save them. But based on what I saw, there is not much more to "Shock Trauma" than the action and drama of each case.

"Shock Trauma: Edge of Life" premieres at 10 p.m. Friday on Discovery Life. Discovery Life can been seen on Channel 181 on Comcast in Baltimore City and Channel 261 on DirecTV.