1500 S.W. 10th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66604

View Map


(785) 354-6100

Frequently Asked Questions – Trauma

What is the Emergency & Trauma Center?

The Stormont Vail Emergency & Trauma Center offers a full range of surgical procedures around the clock with an entire team of surgical and health care professionals on site or available within 15 minutes of notification for the most critically injured patients. The trauma response team is led by a surgeon specializing in trauma care and dedicated to caring for critically injured patients. Seriously injured patients need immediate care delivered by a team of trained professionals in order to have the best chance of survival.

What is the difference between emergency rooms and a Trauma Resuscitation Unit (TRU)?

The Emergency & Trauma Center provides much more specialized care for the most severely injured patients. The trauma response team is available upon a moment's notice 24 hours a day to care for people who have been critically injured. Although the Trauma Center initiates care for the trauma patient in the Trauma Resuscitation Unit (TRU), an area of the Emergency Department, the trauma team remains with the patient to care for their injuries throughout their hospitalization. The Emergency & Trauma Center is a hospitalwide resource providing a full spectrum of care for the injured patient. Since there are numerous patient care issues outside the scope of the Emergency Department, Trauma Services is organized as a separate department.

Trauma Prevention and Education

Stormont Vail Emergency & Trauma Center offers many avenues for education and outreach. We visit schools, civic groups and other community organizations, as well as offer presentations on topics ranging from hospital staff trauma education to the importance of wearing seat belts and bicycle safety helmets. We also provide continuing education to emergency medical personnel and help hospitals and health care providers in other communities develop their trauma/emergency services.

Who is the Trauma Team?

The Stormont Vail Trauma Team is divided into two phases -- the initial Trauma Response Team and the Trauma Critical Care Team. Each team is led by a surgeon and contains a group of health care professionals. The teams are organized to provide care for trauma patients in a coordinated and timely manner.

The Trauma Response Team includes the following:

  • General Surgeon
  • Emergency Physician
  • Trauma Physician Assistant
  • Anesthesia provider
  • Emergency, Critical Care, Operating Room and Surgical Nurses
  • Laboratory Technologist and Blood Bank Technologist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Radiology Technologist
  • Security Officers
  • Chaplain and/or Social Worker

When the most severely injured patients arrive, these individuals are already in the Trauma Resuscitation Unit (TRU) preparing for patient arrival. Patients are evaluated and treated simultaneously and expeditiously. Team members remain with the patient until transferred from the TRU to the operating room, critical care unit or surgical floor.

Upon the patient's arrival to the Critical Care Unit, the Trauma Critical Care Team assumes care for the critically injured patient. This team is a surgeon-led multidisciplinary team that cares for all trauma patients once they have been admitted to the hospital and/or after life and limb saving procedures in the operating room. This team approach to the care of critically injured patients has been proven to lessen health care expenses and is critical to provide minute-to-minute care and decrease the risks of complications. Every member of the team contributes to patient care through daily collaboration and team visits.

The Trauma Critical Care Team includes the following:

  • General Surgeon
  • Trauma Physician Assistant
  • Trauma Pharmacist
  • Trauma Dietitian
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Rehabilitation Therapy Liaison
  • Trauma Case Manager and Social Worker
  • The Patient's Nurse
  • Trauma Chaplain
  • Trauma Program Manager
  • And last but not least, the patient and their family members