When to Go to a Trauma Center – Making the Right Decision
In the blink of an eye, a traumatic incident can change everything about your entire life. Falls, burns, vehicle crashes, and gunshot wounds cannot be anticipated, but need tending to right away.
Trauma can happen in many forms and can have a significant impact on a person’s physical and mental health. So in those few crucial moments, it’s important to know whether to seek medical attention and/or go to a trauma center.
What is a Trauma Center?
Trauma centers are hospitals that are equipped with the resources to receive patients suffering from traumatic injuries and give them a fighting chance. It has specially trained staff that can make timely, important decisions to reduce the chances of death or permanent disability. Trauma centers are prepared to deal with serious life-threatening and disabling injuries.
And since accidents can happen anywhere and at any time of the day, a team of trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, cardiac surgeons, radiologists, and nurses is available 24×7. Resources like an operating room, a trauma resuscitation area, lab testing, diagnostic testing, a blood bank, and a pharmacy are also available. Based on the number of medical staff, patient volume, and infrastructure, these trauma centers are further divided into 3 levels.
Traumatology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of traumatic injuries. Traumatic injuries can range from minor bruises and cuts to life-threatening injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and severe burns. Traumatology specialists are trained to evaluate the severity of the injury and determine the appropriate treatment plan.
When to Seek Medical Attention?
It’s important to seek medical attention after experiencing trauma, even if the injury seems minor. Some injuries, such as concussions and internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent and can have serious consequences if left untreated. Some can cause systemic shock and need immediate resuscitation. Symptoms such as headache, dizziness, confusion, or pain in the abdomen, back, or chest may indicate a more serious injury and require immediate medical attention.
When to Go to a Trauma Center?
As discussed above, trauma centers are specialized hospitals that are equipped to handle the most severe and life-threatening injuries. They have a team of trauma specialists, including surgeons, emergency physicians, and critical care nurses, who are available 24/7 to provide immediate care to trauma patients. Trauma centers are categorized into different levels based on their resources and capabilities, with Level I centers being the most advanced and equipped to handle the most complex cases.
Some injuries that may require a trip to a trauma center include severe head injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe burns, multiple fractures, and injuries to the chest or the abdomen. If you are unsure whether your injury requires a trip to a trauma center, it’s best to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention right away at a hospital with trauma capabilities.
Go to a trauma center especially if you are experiencing:
- Severe or life-threatening bleeding
- Head injury with loss of consciousness or altered mental status
- Major bone fractures or joint dislocations
- Severe burns
- Penetrating injuries to the chest, abdomen, or other vital organs
- Severe abdominal pain or distension
- Severe or persistent pain
- Inability to breathe or shortness of breath
- Seizures or convulsions
- Signs of stroke or heart attack, such as chest pain, numbness, weakness, slurred speech, or sudden vision changes.
In addition to surgical interventions, medication can play a crucial role in the treatment of traumatic injuries. One medication that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of traumatic injuries is ketotifen, an antihistamine that can help reduce inflammation and encourage healing.
Ketotifen works by blocking the release of histamine, a chemical that is released by the body in response to injury and can contribute to inflammation and swelling. By reducing inflammation, ketotifen can help improve healing and reduce the risk of complications such as infections.
Ketotifen can be administered in a variety of ways, including orally, topically, and intravenously. Your doctor will determine the best route of administration based on the severity of your injury and your overall health status.
Trauma can certainly have a significant impact on a person’s physical and mental health. For this reason and others, it’s important to seek medical attention after experiencing trauma, even if the injury seems minor. And if the injury is severe or life-threatening, it may be necessary to go to a trauma center for immediate care.
Traumatology specialists are trained to evaluate the severity of the injury and determine the appropriate treatment plan. Finally, in addition to surgical interventions, medication can play a crucial role in the treatment of traumatic injuries, with ketotifen being one medication that has shown promise in improving healing and reducing inflammation.