The Trauma Center at Cooper University Hospital was established in 1982 and is one of only three New Jersey State-Designated Level I Trauma Centers. Cooper serves as the regional Trauma Center for southern New Jersey including Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean and Salem counties and acts as a resource for the Level II Trauma Centers in our region. A Level I Trauma Center cares for severely injured patients including persons involved in motor vehicle crashes, falls, and acts of violence. On average, Cooper admits more than 2,700 trauma patients each year, making it the busiest center in New Jersey.
The Regional Trauma Center at Cooper University Hospital is staffed 24 hours a day by trauma surgeons, anesthesiologists, trauma nurses, on-call consultants and vital support services, including the blood bank, laboratory services and diagnostic radiology. This staffing is essential, as the majority of trauma cases occur between 1:00p.m. and 1:00a.m. For the most critically injured patients, there is not enough time to call a surgeon, anesthesiologist and others to resuscitate the patient.
Cooper is also uniquely equipped to allow Trauma patients to arrive by helicopter or ambulance. Patients arriving by helicopter receive immediate care on our helipad from the trauma resuscitation team. A fully equipped resuscitation room is located at the helipad so patients can be evaluated and treated without delay and before being moved to the main trauma admitting area.
All trauma patients are admitted through the Trauma Admitting Area. This area allows for four or more patients to be treated simultaneously. They are evaluated by the trauma team which includes trauma surgeons, emergency physicians, trauma nurses, anesthesia nurses, respiratory therapists, radiographers and trauma technicians. As injuries are identified, other specialists are called in to help care for the patient. These may include physicians specializing in neurosurgery, orthopaedics, pediatric surgery, plastic and facial repair, reimplantation and hand surgery, heart and lung surgery, oral-maxillofacial surgery, urology, and ophthalmology. Patients with severe burns are transferred to a regional burn center after traumatic injuries are addressed.
Cooper’s Regional Trauma Center is uniquely equipped to handle the needs of pediatric patients, with a separate admitting area for children. This area has been designed with the special medical needs of the younger trauma patients in mind. Pediatric trauma surgeons are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Trauma Surgical Intensive Care Unit
In this special intensive care unit, trauma / critical care physicians and nurses provide 24 hour a day care for patients. A minimum of one nurse is on duty for every two trauma patients. An attending traumatologist is always in the hospital to care for these patients. In addition, the unit is equipped with the most advanced bedside monitoring and computer analysis systems.
The Trauma Care Unit is a 16-bed patient care unit and nine-bed step-down unit staffed with registered nurses, trauma technicians, resident physicians, physician assistants and attending trauma surgeons. Nursing and technical staff on this specialized unit have received education specific to the care of the trauma patient. Care is goal-directed and provides a continuation of the care provided in the TSICU.
Rehabilitation begins early in the treatment of trauma patients with rehabilitation medicine specialists, physical and occupational therapists, neuropsychologists involved as needed. Those who have been severely injured, have sustained head injuries, spinal injuries or had an amputation requiring extended rehabilitation are referred to long-term rehabilitation centers.
Trauma Recovery Support Group
Recuperation from serious injuries can be long and difficult. We want you to know you are not alone. Trauma Recovery is an ongoing support group at Cooper Hospital which helps trauma patients and their families deal with the concerns and problems faced by those who are recovering from serious injuries. Click here for more information about our trauma support group, which meets twice each month.
Brain Injury Association of New Jersey
The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey brings together head injured individuals, their families and loved ones in an effort to provide information and hope during the healing process. Regional support groups exist throughout New Jersey. Please visit their web site at bianj.org/ for more information.
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