What is trauma anesthesia?
Trauma is a word derived from the Greek word for wound. The medical definition of trauma is a serious bodily injury, wound or shock. Typically seen in emergency rooms, the branch of surgery that handles trauma patients is called traumatology. Trauma anesthesia is the subspecialty of anesthesia focused on trauma patients and their comprehensive acute requirements. All types of anesthesia including general, regional, sedation, and local may be used when treating a trauma patient. Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants has physicians that are trained to treat all types of trauma.
What are the different types of trauma?
There are three main types of trauma. These include penetrating, blunt, and burn trauma. Trauma can occur on any part of the body. Head trauma is typically the most life threatening form of trauma injury. Occasionally, people involved in poisoning or drowning are also treated under the trauma heading.
What is a trauma center?
There are several levels of trauma centers: level I through level IV. All are connected to or associated with a hospital. A Level I trauma center provides the highest level of surgical care to trauma patients. It has a full range of specialists and equipment available 24 hours a day and admits a minimum required annual volume of severely injured patients. A Level I trauma center is required to have a certain number of surgeons and anesthesiologists on duty 24 hours a day at the hospital, an education program, preventive and outreach programs. Key elements include 24-hour in-house coverage by general surgeons and prompt availability of care in varying specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery (plastic surgeons often take calls for hand and facial injuries fixing both the bone and soft tissue of these specialized regions), anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and critical care, which are needed to adequately respond and care for various forms of trauma that a patient may suffer. Additionally, a Level I center has a program of research, is a leader in trauma education and injury prevention, and is a referral resource for communities in nearby regions.
A Level II trauma center works in collaboration with a Level I center. It provides comprehensive trauma care and supplements the clinical expertise of a Level I institution. It provides 24-hour availability of all essential specialties, personnel, and equipment. Minimum volume requirements may depend on local conditions. These institutions are not required to have an ongoing program of research or a surgical residency program. A Level III trauma center does not have the full availability of specialists, but does have resources for emergency resuscitation, surgery, and intensive care of most trauma patients. A Level III center has transfer agreements with Level I or Level II trauma centers that provide back-up resources for the care of exceptionally severe injuries.
A Level IV trauma center exists in some states where the resources do not exist for a Level III trauma center. It provides initial evaluation, stabilization, diagnostic capabilities, and transfer to a higher level of care. It may also provide surgery and critical care services as defined in the scope of services of trauma care. A trauma trained nurse is immediately available, and physicians are available upon the patient’s arrival to the Emergency Department. Transfer agreements exist with other trauma centers with higher levels when conditions warrant a transfer.