Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
More than 800 first responders and hospital staff members attended the VCU Medical Center’s preview of its new Advanced Trauma Resuscitation Room on Sept. 13.
The room, almost four times larger than the former space and the only one of its kind in the area, is uniquely designed to handle mass trauma events such as those caused by natural disasters, large-scale accidents and terrorist attacks, and it will be open to accommodate patients starting on Oct. 1. VCU Medical Center hosted an open house Friday, inviting more than 100 agencies of emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters and other first responders to see the space and learn more about its capabilities.
“We would like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of EMS providers in the volunteer, career and private agencies who work hard every day to bring lifesaving care to those in Central Virginia,” said Harinder Dhindsa, M.D., chief of emergency services operations at VCU Medical Center. “They are not only our ‘eyes and ears’ in the field, but also a highly dedicated group of professionals that make a difference every day in the lives of those that they touch. They represent our extended family in emergency care.”
VCU Medical Center is the only Level I trauma center in Central Virginia nationally verified by the American College of Surgeons since 2004 – the highest level of trauma center verification in the United States. This designation brings a full spectrum of critical patients in the Central Virginia region to VCU Medical Center, where more than 4,000 injured trauma patients are treated each year.
“As the leader in trauma care in Central Virginia, the opening of the Advanced Trauma Resuscitation Room ensures the continued commitment of our Trauma Center to deliver the most advanced care to our patients and families,” said Michel Aboutanos, M.D., chair of the VCU Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Services.
The new space offers state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and monitoring capabilities, and it will be staffed 24/7 with board-certified emergency medicine physicians, trauma and critical care surgeons and highly trained nurses.The room will normally be configured to house six trauma patients, but can easily expand to nine, with one of these beds dedicated to pediatric trauma resuscitation. In addition, it can accommodate four acute medical emergencies at one time.
Full operating room lighting was installed throughout the room, and temperature control efforts can be individualized for each patient’s specific needs. Ceiling-mounted trauma boom systems – equipment that helps monitor patients and provides bedside electrical capabilities – can rotate 360 degrees around the patient, making a more compact configuration, due to an increased number of patients, possible.
Monitors are mounted at the head of each bed, and are designed to receive information from first responders at the scene, including patient details and pictures of the scene, allowing for the trauma teams to be better prepared upon patients’ arrivals. Also, cardiac monitoring of every patient is visible anywhere in the 4,100-square-foot room so that care providers can move around and still keep check on all patients in the space.
“The state-of-the-art facility offers the ability for us to, on a moment’s notice, expand the number of patients we can care for simultaneously,” said Joseph Ornato, M.D., chair of the VCU Division of Emergency Medical Services. “We’ve put in the latest medical equipment and technologies, so it is now going to be viewed by our peer institutions across the country as the model of how the next generation of trauma resuscitation units should be built.”
The opening of the Advanced Trauma Resuscitation Room is one phase of a total renovation of the facilities dedicated to emergency services at the VCU Medical Center. A state-of-the-art renovation of the pediatric emergency room, the triage area and radiology services is already complete and in use. A final phase of the renovation to include new treatment areas for the care of patients experiencing a medical emergency such as a stroke or a heart attack, as well as an area devoted to the care of behavioral health emergencies, will be complete in July 2014.
Emergency Services at VCU Medical Center provides emergent care to more than 98,000 patients annually. Comprehensive emergency programs give patients in Central Virginia access to lifesaving and nationally acclaimed treatment for the critically ill through programs such as the Chest Pain Program, the Cardiac Hypothermia Program, the Stroke Program, the Neurosurgery Program, the Burn Program and the Adult and Pediatric Trauma programs. In addition, VCU Medical Center's Critical Care Transport Team, VCU LifeEvac, provides helicopter transport 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.
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