Keeping Hearts Beating through Comprehensive Trauma Care

Saving lives at Alegent Creighton Health Creighton University Medical Center Level I Trauma Center is a multidisciplinary effort with a team approach. Most patients, about 70 percent, are rushed to CUMC's trauma unit by emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in a rescue squad. Another 17 percent are air-lifted here by Life Net, the air ambulance helicopter. The on-call trauma team is alerted as the critically injured patient is on the way.

Resuscitation

Medics at the scene evaluate the seriousness of injuries and rush those in the most critical condition to the trauma bays, located in the emergency department. The highly-trained trauma team quickly assesses and records injuries and provides immediate intervention to stabilize the patient. A lab phlebotomist collects blood. An x-ray suite is nearby, with portable x-ray capabilities, as well as a CAT scan room and other diagnostic equipment.

Trauma patients often need emergency surgery. The operating suite is nearby so they can be wheeled the shortest possible distance. The surgical team, which includes specialists such as neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons, will be waiting. It's this preparedness and rapid intervention in a trauma center that increases a patient's chances of surviving as much as 20 to 25 percent, according to a recent study at Stanford University.

Intensive Care

After surgery, many patients are transferred to the intensive care unit, where one nurse cares for no more than two patients at a time. The less critical patients who require monitoring are moved to the medical surgical trauma floor.

Saint Elizabeth Regional Burn and Wound Center

The CUMC trauma team works closely with the Saint Elizabeth Regional Burn and Wound Center, another Catholic Health Initiatives hospital. In 2012, almost a dozen trauma patients were transferred to the Lincoln burn center for specialized care after they were stabilized in CUMC trauma bays. Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center has the distinction of having the only burn center in the state verified through the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons.

Rehabilitation

Many trauma patients, especially those who suffered falls or were injured in car accidents, need physical rehabilitation in the hospital, or more intensive inpatient or outpatient therapy. The Alegent Creighton Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Center is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The inpatient program offers a full continuum of care from the beginning through the rehabilitation process, home, wellness services, lifelong follow up care and skilled or long-term care, as needed. Patient satisfaction ranks in the 99th percentile of the Health Stream database on four important questions about care.

Comprehensive Care from Beginning to End

From the moment the severely injured patient is brought through the emergency department doors at CUMC to the days of rehabilitation and the months after, Alegent Creighton Health offers comprehensive care for those who suffer trauma.