Overview of Trauma Surgery
Treatment of Trauma injuries caused by an impact through surgical intervention is known as Trauma Surgery. A most common example is the treatment of a patient, who has sustained injuries in a car or vehicle accident and is brought to the emergency ward, where a trauma surgeon is requisitioned for his treatment. Trauma surgeons use Orthopedic implants like bone plates, bone screws, etc. for treating bone damage/ fractures through surgical intervention.
Explanation of Trauma
Trauma is the injury suffered when an individual experiences a blunt force. Depending upon the graveness of injury, it is also referred to as a “major trauma”. Trauma patients may be the victims of stabbings, accidental falls, car crashes, gunshot wounds, Natural calamity, etc. Trauma can also be caused by crush type injuries in case of falls, and pedestrians being struck by a car.
Internal injuries can affect bones, the brain, internal organs, and the other soft tissues of the body. No area of the human body is immune to trauma, but trauma can range from minor (hitting your finger with a hammer) to major (being hit by a car at the time of traveling at a high speed or falling off from a building).
Who Performs Trauma Surgery
In case of severe trauma, like in the case of a catastrophic car crash, the trauma surgeon may be part of a surgical team that also includes vascular surgeons (to repair damage to blood vessels), general surgeons (to repair internal abdominal injuries), orthopedic surgeons (to repair broken bones), and other surgeons as needed.
The team of trauma will include not only one or more surgeons, but also the paramedics who stabilize and transport the patient, anesthetist, nurses, radiographer, respiratory therapy, and the support of scientists of the medical laboratory, including the blood bank.
Each of these specialists of the selected field has undergone extensive education and training in their field of specialization. The basic qualification is a bachelor’s degree from Medical College followed by Post Graduation in a specific field and subsequent focused training in the area of specialization. Usually, trauma surgery fellowships are one or two years long. Trauma surgeons often serve a critical care fellowship too.
From Doctor to Surgeon
A trauma surgeon has a different function and set of skills from a Doctor of Emergency room. When you reach the emergency room for any complaint, the ER doctor will see you, stabilize your condition, examine you, and order imaging studies as well as tests. He will alert the specialists needed, which may be a trauma surgeon also. The function of an ER doctor includes referring you for admission or discharging you with correct treatment and follow-up-referrals.
If you require trauma surgery, you will be handed over to the trauma surgeon, who will become your provider. He will not only perform the surgery, but you will also be followed by him and his team for recovery, rehabilitation, and discharge. When you need an emergency surgery, you may be treated at the facility where you had arrived, or you may be transported to a facility that has the specialist required for your condition. When you arrive at his facility, the trauma surgeon may not be available to examine you.
The trauma surgeon is often the person responsible for prioritizing which of your injuries will be treated first and determining the required series of diagnostic and operative procedures that require orthopedic implants and instruments such as antegrade femoral nail, interlocking nails, instruments for a mini fragment, bone hammers, etc.