What's in a name - Why choosing a Trauma Center matters

Topics, What You Should Know

Not all hospital and free-standing emergency departments are created equal.

Patients with injuries ranging from the 'major' catastrophic broken bones to seemingly everyday sprains, strains and twists that cause a prolonged limp — will benefit in the long run from an evaluation and treatment in a nationally verified trauma center.

What is a trauma center?

A trauma center is a designation obtained by an emergency department that is specially staffed, trained and equipped to provide care for patients who’ve suffered an injury.

These injuries could be those sustained in a significant car accident or open wounds to a broken arm resulting from an incident at home.

While emergency departments are able to care for a variety of conditions and ailments — some life threatening — a trauma center verification is one that’s earned from a national governing body, specifically the American College of Surgeons.

Why choose a trauma center?

A broken arm, deep laceration or puncture wound, though not life threatening, does require immediate treatment, and the emergency room is the proper setting.

But when it comes to the level of care within that emergency department, a trauma center provides added value, and every age can benefit because trauma centers have multiple medical specialties available to thoroughly evaluate the injury to create a comprehensive care plan, whether the patient arrives by ambulance or walks through the main entrance.

For instance, a 75-year-old man falls in his home and breaks his arm. Within the trauma center, the patient initially meets the emergency physician, who can bring in an orthopedic surgeon to further evaluate the break, but also bring a neurologist to evaluate the patient for a concussion in case he hit his head in the fall and a cardiologist to evaluate the heart.

And importantly, at McLaren Port Huron, if advanced cardiac care is indicated, there’s no need to be transported to another facility. With leading-edge cath labs, open heart surgery and even minimally invasive valve replacement, the cardiovascular team at McLaren Port Huron is here to provide advanced care when you need it the most.

Learn more about the Emergency Center at McLaren Port Huron at www.mclaren.org/phER