How are traumatic injuries different from other emergencies?

Emergency Room doctors can diagnose and treat a wide range of medical problems—from respiratory infections to heart attacks. But in some cases, patients are taken to the Trauma Center instead to receive specialized medical care. Traumatic injuries are different from other medical emergencies because they involve significant shock or damage to the body as a result of physical force. At Riverside Community Hospital, our Level II Trauma Center is fully staffed 24/7 with specialists dedicated to saving lives.

Types of traumatic injuries

In addition to the physical trauma to the body, these injuries may be complicated by psychiatric, social and behavioral factors. Watch this featured video to hear a trauma nurse at Riverside Community Hospital explain the nature of traumatic injuries. Some examples of traumatic injuries include the following:

  • Internal damage
  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic amputations
  • Spine fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Collapsed lung
  • Puncture wounds
  • Gunshot wounds

Patients who are taken to the Trauma Center have acute injuries that are severe enough to require immediate medical attention. This may include emergency resuscitation to preserve life.

Causes and risk factors of traumatic injuries

Many trauma patients are involved in serious accidents, including motor vehicle accidents, falls from elevated areas and animal attacks. Other causes include the following:

  • Explosions
  • Physical assault
  • Natural disasters
  • Sports collisions
  • Near-drowning
  • Plane crashes
  • Electrical shock

Although accidents that result in traumatic injuries tend to occur very quickly, there are still ways of reducing your risk. Consider the following tips:

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Avoid drinking and driving
  • Avoid distracted driving
  • Use power tools properly
  • Wear sports safety equipment
  • Avoid aggressive animals
  • Install smoke alarms

Treatment for traumatic injuries

Trauma surgeons, doctors and nurses must be ready to respond to all sorts of serious injuries at a moment’s notice. They rapidly assess the patient and administer life-saving interventions, such as resuscitation. The immediate focus is on stabilizing the patient, which may require the following steps:

  • Mechanical ventilation for breathing
  • IV fluids
  • Blood transfusions
  • Unblocking the airway
  • Bracing or splinting

It may be necessary to perform surgery right away or after the patient has been stabilized. Some traumatic injuries require extensive recovery and rehabilitation services.

From resuscitation to rehabilitation, our commitment to superior patient care is evident in all that we do. The Trauma Team at Riverside Community Hospital understands the complex needs of our patients and their families, and continually strives for healthcare excellence that exceeds national standards. Call 911 now for emergency care or call a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463 for general questions about our medical specialties.