Med center moves to 24/7 trauma care today

by Jenny Nowatzke, The Nebraska Medical Center | August 01, 2014

Image with file name: Trauma0801.jpg

Starting today, The Nebraska Medical Center's trauma center will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.

As the premier health care facility in the region, The Nebraska Medical Center is expanding its trauma services to meet the needs of residents in Omaha and surrounding communities and become a nationally recognized Level 1 trauma center.

"With eight fellowship-trained trauma surgeons on staff, we offer a full spectrum of specialty care that allows us to take care of any patient, day or night, adult or pediatric."

P.J. Schenarts, M.D.

"It's an exciting step forward, especially for the citizens we take care of," said P.J. Schenarts, M.D., trauma medical director at The Nebraska Medical Center and UNMC professor of surgery. "Most trauma centers work 24/7, so it brings us into better alignment with a national standard of care."

See more information and videos on 24/7 trauama care here.

Since 1993, The Nebraska Medical Center worked cooperatively with Creighton University Medical Center in a combined trauma system. Trauma patients were transported to Creighton University Medical Center four days a week and to The Nebraska Medical Center the other three days. The joint program was a rarity in the U.S. and resulted in two part-time trauma centers that weren't recognized by the American College of Surgeons -- the national accrediting body that is the gold standard for trauma centers in the U.S. On March 1, notice was given to officials at Alegent Creighton Health Creighton University Medical Center of the plan for The Nebraska Medical Center to opt out of the current system.

"The timing is right," said Rosanna Morris, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer of The Nebraska Medical Center. "Level 1 trauma centers provide the highest quality of care to injured patients. We have the resources and infrastructure in place to establish a dedicated Level 1 trauma program. Our staff has been preparing for this change for years."

"With eight fellowship-trained trauma surgeons on staff, we offer a full spectrum of specialty care that allows us to take care of any patient, day or night, adult or pediatric," explained Dr. Schenarts. "We don't have to transfer patients out because we're able to take care of our own."

The Nebraska Medical Center currently employs more than 50 subspecialty physicians who are experts in trauma surgery, neurosurgery, reconstructive surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, orthopedics, oral maxillofacial surgery, urology, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) and ophthalmology. The hospital also has a dozen physicians certified in pediatric critical care and pediatric surgery.

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fill out the following blank squares? Not sure what this means. -Carol Gilbert
August 04, 2014 at 9:16 AM

I am grateful that UNMC is taking this step. It is truly a very important service to the Eastern half of the city, which has been losing access to services in recent years.