Trauma/Critical Care

Common Questions

What is a Level 1 Trauma Center?

A Level 1 trauma center is a hospital that is committed to providing the necessary personnel and equipment to care for critically injured patients 24-hours a day. Being treated at a Level I Trauma Center increases a seriously injured patient’s chances of survival by an estimated 20 to 25 percent.

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH) provides the highest level of surgical care to trauma patients and has the capability of providing essential care for nearly every type of injury. As a Level I Trauma Center, we provide a regional resource as a tertiary care facility central to the southwest Virginia region.

What does it take to be designated as a trauma center?

The commitment of full-time trauma surgeons, emergency department physicians, and many dedicated physicians, nurses, specialists, therapists and technicians willing to be available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Trauma Center designation also requires:

  • Smart rooms in the Operating room specifically designed for multiple trauma patients
  • Designated trauma rooms in the emergency department equipped to care for adult and pediatric patients
  • Trauma program and medical directors committed to overseeing daily operations
  • Trauma research program
  • CT and MRI scanners and invasive radiology suites
  • Designated intensive care units (ICUs)
  • Ongoing staff education programs
  • Continuous quality improvement initiatives
  • Extensive rehabilitation services (inpatient and outpatient)
  • Community outreach, education, and prevention programs
  • Registrars who collect and analyze data on all trauma patients

What does a Level I Trauma Center offer me and my family?

The trauma center is made up of a variety of components. The front line aspects of this system are trauma services, emergency medicine, and disaster response and recovery. However there are also aspects that you might not recognize such as injury prevention, performance improvement, the trauma registry and the rehabilitative services:

  • 24 hour in-house coverage by surgeons specially trained in trauma care
  • Prompt availability of care in specialties such as: orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, radiology, and pediatrics
  • Cardiac, plastic, hand surgery, and vascular surgery
  • Dedicated team of professionals that work collaboratively to develop all aspects of the patient’s care
  • Leadership in prevention, public education, and continuing education of trauma team members
  • Comprehensive performance improvement program
  • Ongoing organized research efforts to improve trauma care in the community
  • Case managers, social workers, chaplains and patient representatives.

What makes Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital unique?

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH) has been a state-certified trauma center for 30 years. This commitment to trauma care resulted in CRMH being only one of five Level 1 trauma centers in Virginia. CRMH is also the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the southwestern region of the state.

CRMH works collaboratively with other area hospitals and facilities as far as West Virginia and North Carolina, as well as EMS agencies and universities. We have substantial expertise in the training and education of nurses, medical students, residents and many other healthcare specialists. The addition of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute enables us to be on the cutting edge of new procedures and approaches to injury prevention and treatment of injuries of all types. We strive to personalize the plan of care for each patient and family burdened by a traumatic event.

What special qualifications do your staff members have?

Our professional team consists of board-certified emergency medicine and surgical attending physicians. Our team also includes registered nurses with certifications in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP), Trauma Nursing Core Courses (TNCC) and Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course (ENPC) and Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS). Several advanced practice nurses and physician assistants.

What can you expect if you are injured and come to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH)?

Emergency room physicians and trauma surgeons who have extensive training and experience will rapidly evaluate your injuries and develop a plan of care. Specialists such as neurosurgery or orthopedic surgery will be contacted promptly.

If you’re admitted to the hospital, an individual plan of care will be developed by the trauma team, which consists of nurses, trauma surgeons, case managers, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, nutritionists, respiratory therapists, clinical pharmacists, rehab physicians and social workers.

What is the anticipated time of recovery from trauma?

With all injuries, especially those suffered from a trauma related incident, recovery time will vary. It is our goal to assist patients in getting well enough to be discharged from the hospital as quickly as possible.

Studies show that most patients prefer to recover and heal in familiar surroundings such as their own home. The trauma case manager and social worker are skilled in arranging home therapies and equipment that you may need after discharge. Follow up and clinic appointments will also be arranged prior to your discharge. Often, the recommendations from the orthopaedic and neurosurgery specialists will dictate limitations such as walking, weight-bearing, lifting or driving. It is important to keep all scheduled appointments so that your recovery progress can be measured and allow you to return to previous levels of activity.

What are the rates of trauma deaths in the United States?

Trauma kills more people between the ages of one and 44 than any other disease or illness. Nearly 180,000 people of all ages in the United States die from trauma every year, roughly one quarter of them from automobile crashes. Tragically, however, it is our children and young adults who feel the greatest impact of trauma. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, trauma (unintentional injuries + homicides) causes: 43 percent of all deaths from age one to four, 48 percent of all deaths in ages five to 14 , and 62 percent of all deaths in ages 15 to 24.

Trauma can strike at any time of the day. Each year, eight to nine million individuals suffer disabling injuries in the United States, with more than 3,000,000 of them suffering permanent disabilities.