In 2016, the National Safety Council reported data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showing that preventable injury is the third leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer) during “the prime of life, from early childhood when kids are developing and discovering who they want to become through middle age, when adults are in the prime of their lives, enjoying career success as well as raising families and preparing for older adulthood.*" Motor vehicle crashes, falls and poisonings are the top three causes of preventable injury-related deaths.
The good news? Research has found that patients who are treated at a trauma center have a significantly higher chance of survival.** Our trauma team is committed to providing our community with the highest possible quality emergency care. Our Emergency Department is staffed by physicians 24/7 and serves as the base hospital for the area’s Emergency Medical System. Our interdisciplinary Department of Surgery, Trauma Services division consists of:
- A trauma medical director with certification in surgery and critical care
- A total of five trauma surgeons with 3 fellowship-trained in trauma and critical care
- A director of surgical services
- A trauma program manager and trauma quality data coordinator
- An administrative assistant
Our team constantly works to find performance-improvement issues and create new prevention strategies, develop and update policies and procedures, perform research, and educate the staff and community about trauma.
What Is A Trauma Center?
A trauma center is an area of the hospital that is equipped to treat the most high-risk injuries such as car crashes, falls from standing height and above, burns, assaults, etc. If you experience any type of trauma, you’ll receive treatment via emergency medical systems deployed to the injury site where you are located and in the hospital’s emergency department. Our hospital functions as a Level II Trauma Center. We are designated by the State of Connecticut and verified by the American College of Surgeons based on a very high set of standards.
The American Trauma Society describes the four levels of trauma*** centers as:
- A Level I Trauma Center – The center provides total care, from prevention through rehabilitation. These also offer a teaching program for medical residents, as well as ongoing research.
- A Level II Trauma Center – The center is like a Level I trauma center but doesn’t necessarily offer teaching or research. Both Levels I and II can treat either children or adults.
- A Level III Trauma Center – The center is smaller than Level I and II centers but can provide prompt care to injured patients.
- A Level IV Trauma Center – The center can provide trauma care and life support before patients are transferred to a larger, higher-level trauma center.
There are many requirements to be a trauma center among the various levels and trauma centers are verified and designated every three years.
What Is The Difference Between Trauma Centers And Non-Trauma Centers?
Trauma centers are for patients with the most extreme injuries. At trauma centers, you’ll find highly trained clinicians who specialize in treating traumatic injuries, including:
- Trauma surgeons
- Orthopedic surgeons
- Cardiac surgeons
- Registered nurses
They staff the center 24/7 and have access to resources such as an operating room, resuscitation area, laboratory, and diagnostic testing equipment. They are always prepared to treat patients.
When Should You Go To A Trauma Center?
In the most serious circumstances, paramedics will evaluate a patient’s condition and decide where they go for care based on an evidence-based algorithm. Trauma centers can treat mild injuries to the most serious injuries, such as broken bones, brain injuries, burns, gunshot and stab wounds, industrial injuries, abdominal injuries to the stomach, liver or spleen, etc.
*Fatality Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Non-fatal data: NEISS All Injury Program, Office of Statistics and Programming, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
**A National Evaluation of the Effect of Trauma-Center Care on Mortality; EJ MacKenzie, Ph.D., FP Rivara, M.D., P.H., GJ Jurkovich, M.D., AB Nathens, M.D., Ph.D., KP Frey, M.P.H., BL Egleston, M.P.P., DS Salkever, Ph.D., and DO Scharfstein, Sc.D.; N Engl J Med 2006; 354:366-378; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa052049, January 26, 2006