About Trauma Care at Reading Health System

At Reading Hospital Trauma Center, a team of dedicated physicians and staff work closely to provide the most responsive trauma care possible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Employing a streamlined communication system, the arrival notification process begins when the prehospital provider communicates vital information to the Emergency Medicine Physician via radio or phone. The physician enters the patient’s information into a computerized paging system, which is simultaneously relayed to the trauma team. This allows the multidisciplinary resuscitative team, led by the trauma surgeon, to be assembled and ready to provide the best care possible upon a patient’s arrival.

Our Team

The Trauma Surgeons at Reading Hospital  are boarded by the Americian College of Surgeons in Surgical Critical Care and have had training and experience at many prestigious trauma centers.  With their leadership we can offer the most advanced methods of resuscitation and surgical care to those injured after a traumatic event.

Additionally, the team is supported by a qualified group of advanced practitioners, both physician assistants and certified nurse practitioners. They have receieved advanced training in the resuscitation and ongoing care of trauma patients. When admitted to the trauma service both the surgeons and advanced practitioners will care for patients through their hospitalization to discharge. The patients may recieve post hospitalization follow-up at our outpatient clinic or another specialist's office depending on their injuries.

Trauma Center Care

Trauma Resuscitation Area

After a traumatic accident, a patient with serious injuries requiring immediate resuscitation and surgical intervention will be brought directly into the Trauma Center Resuscitation Area.  It houses two state of the art trauma bays where a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals is already assembled and waiting for the patient to arrive.  The Trauma  Team is led by highly skilled Trauma Surgeons who are board certified in Surgical Critical Care.

This team of experts includes trauma surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, trauma nurses and medics, trauma residents and advanced practitioners, anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists, respiratory care, laboratory, and radiographic technologists.  The team is also supported by a member of the security and chaplain staffs.  All physician and nursing staff have advanced training and certifications in trauma care.

With advanced monitoring and life support capabilities the team performs an immediate assessment of the patient's condition and prioritizes imaging needs and procedures necessary to evaluate and stablize them.  The trauma surgeon will stay with the patient throughout the resuscitation phase and coordinate the involvement of other specialists such as Orthopedic Surgeons or Neurosurgeons when necessary.

Emergency Department

When non-lifethreatening injuiries occur, a patient may be seen in the Reading Hospital Emergency Department.  This area is staffed with a team of highly trained physicians, who are board certified or qualified in emergency medicine, and emergency nursing staff who are qualified to care care for both stable and critical patients.  All nurses have completed the Trauma Nurse Course and have the opportunity for advanced certification.  If injuries are identified, the emergency room physician will consult a trauma surgeon for ongoing care.

Frequently Asked Questions

 Our patients have many questions as they enter the Reading Hospital.  We have tried to address some common ones:

1. What is a trauma center?

A trauma center is specialized in treating patients with injuries after physical trauma.  Trauma can be defines as blunt injuries from motor vehicle crashes, motorcycle crashes, or falls.  It can also be penetrating trauma from gunshots or stabbings. 

A trauma center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by experienced trauma surgeons, emergency staff, specially trained operative teams and nursing staff.  Additonal physician specialists such as orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons are also immediately available for consultive care.

2. What are the levels of Trauma Centers?

The American College of Surgeons has defined four levels of trauma centers depending on available resources:

LEVEL I:  As a regional resource center, Level I institutions provide leadership in education and research.  They are often large university based centers able to maintain a high level of advanced care with resourced personnel and comprehensive services to provide initial and ongoing trauma care to complex injured patients.

Level II:  As a resource center, the Level II institution is also capable of providing advanced care to the complex injured patient.  Usually an urban or suburban community medical center they may not have all the comprehensive services as a Level I Center, however continue as leaders in educations and advanced care.

Level III: Community trauma centers are located in an area that do not have a Level I or Level II Center.  Thier committment to the trauma system is to provide prompt resuscitation and stablization of injured patients and arranging for transfer to a high level of care at a Level I or Level II Center.

Level IV:  Smaller access hospitals will not have the surgical support necessary for a defined trauma program.  The committment of a Level IV hospital is to provide resuscitation and prompt transfer to a Level I or Level II Center for ongoing care.

3. What can I expect upon arrival as a family member of a patient being resuscitated in the trauma bay?

Traumatic injuries are seldomed planed and our goal is to make sure you are kept informed and supported through the emergency phase of care.  When you arrive at the Emergency Department a Chaplain from the hospital's Pastorial Care Department will seat you in our family room adjacent to the trauma bays.  He will work with the trauma team to provide you with intial information about your loved one.  The Chaplains are here to provide you with support, help get in touch with other family members, and respond to your emotional needs.  You will not able to see your family member until the resuscitation is complete.  At that time a member of the trauma team will sit and discuss the patient's condition and treatment plan with you.

You may be asked about your loved one's medical history including medications and other illness so we can provide the best care possible.  A registration clerk will obtain patient information such as their address, date of birth, family doctor, and insurance information.  If your family member is transported to another area, the Chaplain will escort you to the new location.