An ambulance rushes to Botsford Hospital. In it is the victim of a serious car crash. The ambulance races past closer hospitals on its way to Botsford—it’s already been decided that this patient needs a trauma center, not an emergency room (ER). Botsford’s trauma team is activated and treatment begins the second the ambulance arrives.
Every minute counts. Patients who receive treatment in the “golden hour,” the first hour after injury, have a higher chance of survival. “The quicker we can treat trauma patients, the less likely it is that they’ll suffer permanent disability,” explains Sanford Vieder, D.O., emergency medicine specialist and chairman of the Emergency Medical Department at Botsford.
Trauma cases often involve life- threatening injuries that need care beyond what a typical ER can offer. A broken leg or bad stomach virus are common reasons for coming to the ER. A trauma center is equipped to treat the most serious injuries, like falls, motor vehicle accidents, gunshot or knife wounds, and burns. With each situation, the trauma team is ready 24/7. Care at a trauma center goes beyond what an ER can do, says Dr. Vieder.
“A trauma team can mean the difference between life and death for many patients,” adds Michael Rebock, D.O., general surgeon and medical director of Botsford’s Trauma Services. “We have top-notch staff, advanced technology and equipment. Patients in need of immediate care don’t have to wait to get the treatment they desperately need. Our team is committed to improving these patients’ chance of survival by jumping into action the instant they arrive.”
Located within minutes of several major freeways, the Trauma Center serves anyone who lives, works or travels through western Oakland and Wayne Counties. In fact, Botsford is the only hospital in that area to be verified as a trauma center by the American College of Surgeons.
The Trauma Center is more than just the ER. Six operating rooms, a full laboratory, a 128-slice CT scan, an open-bore MRI and more are all available 24 hours a day.
Trauma care involves not only the ER staff, but collaboration with the intensive care, critical care and progressive care units as well, explains Dr. Rebock. Because trauma can encompass so many different types of injuries, an entire network of skilled specialists is on standby. Anesthesiologists, radiologists, pulmonologists and orthopedic, spine and vascular surgeons are all part of Botsford’s extensive trauma team. Trauma care goes beyond treating the initial injuries to include rehabilitation, too.
Botsford became a trauma center in 2010. The trauma team treats an average of two to three cases daily, Dr. Vieder says. Trauma Center specialists also educate the public about injury prevention.
Trauma staff members visit schools to talk to students about street safety and how to avoid accidents. They also visit senior centers to discuss how to make a home safe and prevent falls.
For 2011, the Emergency & Trauma Center reported 61,051 total visits.