Our state is well known for its bountiful outdoor activities. Mountain biking, climbing, hiking, trails for all-terrain vehicles, hunting and boating are favorite activities. Unfortunately, these activities can lead to traumatic injuries.
CAMC's Trauma Center, located at General Hospital, is designated as a Level I Center, meaning we are fully staffed with board-certified trauma surgeons, nurses, technologists and other personnel who specialize in treating patients during the critical first "golden hour" after an accident occurs. Transport services are provided through HealthNet (helicopter) or critical care ground transport. Last year, the staff treated more than 2,400 people with traumatic injuries (including head trauma, brain injury and spinal cord injury), many of whom later entered our medical rehabilitation center for physical, occupational, speech or recreational therapy.
Two intensive care units are located adjacent to the surgical areas as well as a trauma nursing unit for patients who don't need intensive care. The staff is supported by skilled neurosurgeons and neuroscience nurses. A specialized neuroscience intensive care unit also is available.
In an effort to prevent accidents, the trauma services staff frequently travels to area high schools during the spring to present a program called "CAMC Trauma Team Talks Tough." During this interactive presentation, members of the CAMC staff, and occasionally former patients, talk openly with teens about what can happen when you make bad choices (such as drinking and driving or riding all-terrain vehicles without safety gear). For information about CAMC's "Trauma Team Talks Tough," call (304) 388-7859.
The Trauma Center offers continuing education credits for physicians in central and southern West Virginia. The West Virginia Star is a bi-annual statewide audit of cases from West Virginia's trauma centers; the annual trauma seminar is designed to describe trauma management techniques and trains first responders in systems for assessing and treating trauma patients.