Advancing Children's Health

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Level 1 pediatric trauma care: When seconds matter most

Published by , on Oct 1, 2017

As the only American College of Surgeons verified Level 1 pediatric trauma center in Virginia, CHoR is a leader in caring for injured children. The Level 1 designation means we have pediatric specialists available around the clock to provide life-saving emergency care and that we provide total care for every aspect of injury, from prevention through rehabilitation.

If your child has a serious injury or illness, stay calm and follow these steps*:

-If CPR is needed and you know how, start CPR**. The American Red Cross is a great resource for CPR classes. (Note: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, assists the flow of blood and oxygen through the body until medical care arrives. In emergency situations, CPR can mean the difference between life and death.)

-If there’s bleeding, apply continuous pressure to the site with a clean cloth.

-If you need immediate help, call 911. If you do not have 911 service in your area, call your local emergency medical or ambulance service.

-If the child is having a seizure, place them on a carpeted floor with their head turned to the side, and stay with the child until help arrives.

-Bring the following with you to the emergency room/trauma center:

  • Medication(s) your child is taking
  • Your child’s immunization records
  • Any suspected poison your child may have ingested or come in contact with

-Once you arrive, be sure to tell the emergency staff the name of your child’s pediatrician or primary care doctor so your child’s doctor can provide additional information about your child and work closely with the emergency team. It can be helpful to have your doctor’s contact information and other important phone numbers handy as quick access to these numbers can be helpful during an emergency and useful for babysitters, grandparents and other caregivers to access if needed. Download a helpful contact info sheet where you can record these important contact numbers and medical information for your family OR turn to the inside cover of your 2017 TidBits Calendar.

Our expert team provides care for traumas ranging from broken bones to serious head and chest injuries.

What is Level 1 pediatric trauma care?

We hope your children never need trauma care, but if they do, be assured that the highest level of care is available in Central Virginia. The Level 1 designation recognizes organizations that provide superior patient care and have specialists from multiple disciplines working together to maximize positive outcomes for all children.

In 2013, the American College of Surgeons named CHoR Virginia’s first Level 1 pediatric trauma center for demonstrating this advanced level of patient care, education and research. CHoR was re-accredited as a Level 1 facility in 2016 and is the only pediatric trauma center in Virginia to earn this designation.

A Level 1 pediatric trauma center ensures access to the most advanced care available for critically injured children, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Children who have experienced a trauma often have injuries to multiple organs and as part of this advanced level of care, we have specialists in neurology, orthopaedic surgery, plastic surgery, rehabilitation and more who work closely with our emergency and critical care team throughout a child’s recovery.

We are the lead agency for the state coalition of Safe Kids Virginia, which is part of a worldwide agency dedicated to preventing injuries and keeping children safe. The Safe Kids Virginia team implements evidence-based programs – such as car seat checks, safety workshops and sports clinics – that help prevent unintentional or accidental injuries to children. Safe Kids Virginia also works closely with CHoR’s trauma team to identify injury trends and coordinate related injury prevention efforts. Most recently these outreach efforts have centered on the increase in gun-related injuries in children nationwide and the higher number of infants and toddlers coming to our emergency room with injuries due to falls from elevated surfaces.

Improving and advancing care and treatments through research initiatives is another important aspect of Level 1 care, and at any given time more than 100 clinical trials are underway at CHoR. Our research specialists study childhood diseases and better ways to provide pediatric care as they work toward breakthroughs and new methods that can improve our understanding and treatment of childhood diseases and benefit all children.

Having access to a Level 1 pediatric trauma center can save a child’s life. When seconds matter – and during so many of the important steps along the way – the most advanced level of care and support is available at CHoR.

*Adapted from AAP healthychildren.org

Reviewed by Corri Miller-Hobbs, Registered Nurse and Safe Kids Virginia Program Coordinator

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