The Workings of a Trauma Center

What is Trauma? Merriam-webster.com defines trauma as “an injury caused by a physical force. Most often the consequences of motor vehicle crashes, falls, drowning, gun shots, fires, burns, stabbing, or blunt assault.”

What is a Trauma System? A network of care that is orchestrated in a way to provide patients with the resources they need in the most effective way with a goal to improve outcomes and mortality. Our “network of care” consists of EMS partners, ED staff, ED physicians, OR staff, ICU staff, surgical floor staff, rehab staff, care managers, trauma surgeons, outside of hospital rehabilitation facilities and surgeons (all specialties).

Theda Clark Medical Center is a Level II Verified Trauma Center. An American College of Surgeons (ACS) Verified Trauma Center means that the ACS has reviewed the structures in place (whether Level  I, II, III or IV), and they are found to be in alignment with the evidence-based delivery of the larger trauma system. Theda Clark specifically meets the following criteria:

  • We have trauma surgeons who are board certified and available 24 hours a day to provide trauma care
  • Orthopedic and neurosurgeons are also both available 24 hours a day and are credentialed and board certified to provide trauma care
  • We have guidelines and protocols in place to direct the care of the trauma patient
  • A quality system is also in place to review the compliance with these guidelines and protocols and if care deviates from the evidence-based pathways, it is reviewed by a multidisciplinary team
  • The team members who care for patients complete yearly education to keep them competent in the care they provide
  • Twice a week, a multidisciplinary team “rounds” on patients who are currently in our care. This team is made up of RNs, RTs, MDs, chaplains, care managers, pharmacists, physiatry and dieticians. This time is spent reviewing the patient’s current condition, anticipating needs, and determining what actions need to take place to move the patient towards recovery and ultimately discharge to home or rehab.
  • Outreach and education, along with injury prevention, need to be provided to our community partners (EMS, hospitals, citizens). We provide this through personal visits, participation in community programs (Child Death Review, Falls Prevention through Winnebago County, PARTY at the PAC, SAFE Kids, ENCARE, Think First) and “by request” educational offerings .