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Trauma Department

Frequently Asked Questions

How do trauma patients get from the site of the injury to the trauma center and what kind of treatment do they receive before arriving?

Trauma patients usually are brought to Christiana Hospital via helicopter or ambulance by emergency medical services (EMS) personnel.

Helicopter transport may include the ChristianaCare LifeNet, a 24-hour, seven day a week critical care aeromedical helicopter service. LifeNet provides interfacility transport as well as emergency scene work for the critically ill and injured citizens of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

EMS transport may include the ChristianaCare Mobile Intensive Care Unit. The MICN unit is staffed with a specialty-trained mobile intensive care nurse (MICN) and emergency care technician.

At the injury site or referring hospital, the EMS team, LifeNet or MICN alerts our trauma team of the incoming patient.

During transport, emergency personnel treat every patient with the highest degree of safety and emergency care.

Where does the patient go after arriving at the trauma center?

After the trauma team checks the severity of the patient’s injuries in the Emergency Department, first steps include determining the level of care needed and may also include ordering tests such as x-rays. Based on the evaluation, the patient may then go to the operating room for emergency surgery, the intensive care unit or a trauma surgical nursing unit.

When can we see our loved one?

Our most urgent priority when trauma patients arrive at the trauma center is to stabilize their condition. That may take several hours, during which time the trauma team may run tests or perform emergency surgery or procedures.

Knowing how painful and frightening this waiting period can be, we make every effort to let you see your loved one briefly and learn the status of his or her condition.

Who gives information to the family about the patient’s status?

When you arrive at the Emergency Department, you meet with the trauma attending surgeon or resident. A family support team member will serve as your contact with the trauma team and update you often on the patient’s status until the trauma attending surgeon or resident can provide details of the injury.

Who is responsible for your loved one’s treatment during the hospital stay?

Many different doctors, advanced practice nurses, nurses and health professionals are involved in treating trauma patients during hospitalization. The trauma team is led by an attending trauma surgeon who consults with other surgeons and medical professionals about the best treatment for the patient.

How can the family help during trauma treatment and recovery?

The impact of trauma injury on the patient’s family is great. With no warning, you are thrown into a crisis and must make informed decisions. To help you get through this stressful time, remember to select one person to speak for your family and share information with medical staff; provide as much information about the patient’s medical history as you can; ask questions and write down answers – the more you know, the better you are able to cope.

How long are trauma patients hospitalized and when can they go home?

The recovery period is different for each patient, depending on what injuries they have and the health and age of the patient. Discharge plans can vary due to the injuries suffered and the support systems available to patients and their families. A social worker and the trauma team will develop a plan that considers everyone’s needs.

ChristianaCare Trauma Department
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Suite 1320
Newark DE 19718 directions