Trauma Center Activations
First responders from Emergency Medical Services (EMS) evaluate injured patients at the site of the trauma. EMS Communications then initiates one of three “activations” depending on the condition of the patient and the mechanism of injury:
When a person has sustained a traumatic injury and is showing poor vital signs, EMS Communications pages a “Trauma Alert.” Key indications include low blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, signs of coma, compromised breathing and any gunshot wound to the neck, chest or abdomen. A Trauma Alert activates the full trauma team, including trauma surgeons, emergency medicine physicians and nurses, OR and Surgery ICU staff, and Blood Center staff.
When a person has suffered a serious injury but his or her vital signs are normal, EMS Communications pages a “Trauma Call.” This page activates a subset of the trauma team, including surgeons and emergency medicine physicians and nurses.
Individuals involved in a crash or fall may not appear to be significantly harmed, but they still have the potential for serious injury. In these cases, EMS Communications pages an “ED All” to notify Emergency Department physicians and nurses that a patient who may need significant attention will arrive soon. All potentially injured patients who are pregnant or over the age of 65 trigger an ED Alert.