In Virginia, the process of trauma designation is entirely voluntary. It is meant to identify those hospitals that make a commitment to providing a higher level of care for injured patients and who welcome public acknowledgment of that capability. The Virginia standards are reviewed and updated based on changes in the national standards, as well as the evolving needs of the Virginia Trauma System.
No one can predict when an accident may happen. Similarly, orthopedic trauma surgeons (traumatologists) cannot predict the types of injuries their patients may have sustained in an accident or the types of care that will be needed. Orthopedic traumatology is much more than just surgical intervention. While the initial focus is on fracture care, it extends to soft tissue infections, ruptured tendons, and multiple system involvement. Each trauma patient has a unique plan of treatment, starting with the most urgent issues and continuing as a more long-term relationship with their orthopedic traumatologist. Follow-up care sometimes lasting 12 to 18 months after the initial trauma intervention.
For patients with multiple trauma injuries, pain management is critical for healing. Multi-modal pain control options, beginning at the initial trauma assessment, work to help patients reduce the use and side effects of opioids and narcotics.
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is designated a Level I Trauma Center, the highest level of trauma care.
Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital is designated a Level III Trauma Center.
Trauma patients don’t choose their orthopedic surgeon as you would for an elective orthopedic procedure. The good news for orthopedic trauma patients is the assurance that Sentara has already recruited the most skilled and experienced orthopedic traumatologists that are on call 24/7 at the two trauma centers, Level I Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Level III Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. These surgeons also provide consultation for complicated orthopedic cases and some elective orthopedic procedures.
The goal is to restore the health of a trauma patient and make it possible for them to return to work or other activities of life.
“I was a passenger in our work truck when we were hit head-on by someone speeding at 90 MPH. After three months in the hospital and seven surgeries on my arms, hands, hips, legs and feet, I’ve been able to return to fun activities like fishing. With more therapy, I’ll be back at my job lifting heavy containers in a few months.”