Years ago I had a conversation with a surgeon at our facility. He was unhappy that a seriously injured trauma patient came to our facility after a MVC. ‘These patients shouldn’t come here Ed, they should go to a trauma center!’
Fair enough; we aren’t a trauma center. Not a Level I, not a Level II or III; not even a level 0.5! But we are the only hospital in a large rural county, and the closest, largest facility for portions of a few other counties nearby. The nearest hospital with neurosurgery and thoracic surgery is at least 30 minutes further away.
The problem is, torn blood vessels, crushed spleens, collapsed lungs, swollen brains don’t look at the clock, and cars aren’t designed to wreck only near trauma centers, any more than assailants shoot and stab people only within proximity of appropriate care. (It rather defeats the purpose of attempted murder, you know. )
Recently, my partner had the same conversation with the same surgeon. The patient had been shot twice and was hypotensive. ‘These patients shouldn’t come here!’ We understand, the conditions may not be ideal and trauma is, to be quite honest, fraught with medical and legal peril. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at edwinleap.com*