Progress continues on the construction of the new Emergency Department, which is set to open next January. The team is pouring concrete, and the ED staff continues to work on improvements for both discharged and admitted patients. Soon after the new Emergency Department opens, the Medical Center will launch adult trauma services in spring 2018. 

Here’s an explanation of the requirements to provide trauma care:

Trauma care

“Trauma services” refers to care provided to patients who suffer traumatic injuries. Among the most common emergencies that require treatment in a Level 1 Trauma Center are serious falls, serious head injuries, motor vehicle crashes and gunshot wounds. It is important to note the term “trauma center” does not refer to a separate place.

Rather, a trauma center is the combined multidisciplinary teams, special facilities and more throughout the entire hospital that are required to provide care to trauma victims. This is similar to the Comprehensive Stroke Center, which delivers care to patients who enter the emergency department and receive multidisciplinary care from specialists throughout the organization.

Trauma services encompass numerous providers who deliver care in operating rooms, the ED, intensive care units and med-surg, as well as physical therapy, social work, radiology, the blood bank and more. The state requires Level I Trauma Centers to have various surgeons, other specialists and operating facilities available at all times.

Emergency Department

The new adult Emergency Department is scheduled to open on the first floor of Parking Garage B adjacent to the Center for Care and Discovery. Emergency care covers a broad set of services, handling a very wide spectrum of conditions that range anywhere from a sprained ankle, to a heart attack or stroke, severe stomach pains, burns, bleeding, or respiratory distress.

UChicago Medicine already cares for these conditions every day, and the new ED will allow the Medical Center to serve the community even better by helping to reduce wait times and by moving the ED closer to critical services like the cath lab, radiology, and the operating rooms. Check future issues for more about the UChicago Medicine’s transformation to adult Level 1 Trauma Center.

By Amy Alderman