Crozer Regional Trauma Center Marks 30 Years of Serving the Community
Chester Police Captain Alan Davis always had a soft spot for the nurses at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. After a 1998 motorcycle accident that briefly landed him as a patient at the Crozer Regional Trauma Center, he made it a point to show his appreciation by visiting the nurses daily while working his beat, bringing a steady supply of hot coffee and good spirits to the Trauma Center staff.
“Always be nice to the nurses,” he would good-naturedly remind the younger officers who worked for him. Captain Davis did not realize how prophetic his words would prove to be.
In the spring of 2016, Captain Davis was shot twice in a gun battle with a suspect in Chester. He instantly knew that he was in grave danger because he takes the blood thinner Coumadin. Although he was shot in his right arm and torso, he maintained his composure and insisted that another officer apply a tourniquet on the scene.
He was then rushed to the Crozer Regional Trauma Center, where he was assessed by the center’s medical director, whom he knew from his frequent visits to the staff. He calmly described his injuries, advised the staff that he was on Coumadin, and told them his blood type before losing consciousness.
For anyone in the emergency medical field, there are certain cases that heighten the emotional nature of the work. Captain Davis’ appearance as a trauma patient was, for the nursing staff, the type of experience akin to working on “one of their own.” However, the high-level of professional training and experience that the Trauma Center staff has made it possible for them to, as one staff member said, “stick to the script and do the same thing every time.”
This extreme professionalism under the most difficult of circumstances is one feature Captain Davis credits with his recovery. After 21 days in the Trauma Center —including six surgeries in the first nine days — Captain Davis survived the shooting and is continuing to heal, with therapies five days per week and more surgeries on the horizon.
In November, Captain Davis spoke about his patient experience at Crozer-Chester Medical Center’s recent Trauma and Critical Care Symposium. After telling his story, he was questioned by nurses and staff asking what they could have done better to improve his care experience. “I can’t criticize anybody here at all,” he insisted, complimenting the personalized care and professionalism of everyone he encountered during his stay.
Thirty Years of Trauma Care
This year marks a milestone for the Crozer Regional Trauma Center, as it is celebrating its 30th year of operation. The Trauma Center opened in December of 1986 as one of only nine hospitals in the state to qualify for accreditation by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation during the first year of trauma center accreditation in the state of Pennsylvania.
As a Regional Level II Trauma Center, Crozer’s Trauma Center has grown from treating more than 500 traumatically injured patients annually to treating more than 2,400 patients each year. The Center’s team cares patients who have been injured by burns, falls, motor vehicle crashes, lacerations, gunshots and more.
“We were proud to be one of the first trauma centers in the state, and 30 years later, we are still the only trauma center in Delaware County. Thank you to our center’s dedicated trauma team, which is ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to care for people in our community,” says Michael Curran, interim president of Crozer-Chester Medical Center.
The Trauma Center consists of 10 full-time employees (including surgeons, nurses, registrars and a secretary) along with the critical support of a multidisciplinary team of surgical subspecialties, primary nurses, case managers, social workers, respiratory therapists, rehabilitation professionals and many other hospital departments, such as Radiology and the Laboratory.
Care at the Trauma Center often begins even before a patient enters the hospital. When an Emergency Medical Services unit arrives at a scene and identifies a trauma victim, they immediately notify the Trauma Center. At that point, the Emergency Department members of the trauma team advise the EMS unit on care before the patient arrives at the hospital, while the EMS team gathers the necessary information and relays it to the trauma team.
Upon arrival at the Emergency Department (ED) of the Trauma Center, a patient is met by the multidisciplinary trauma team, which has responded to provide care in one of the four dedicated trauma resuscitation rooms. These rooms are equipped with cutting-edge technologies specifically designed to facilitate trauma and emergency care.
The patient may then be admitted to one of the trauma-designated inpatient care units, all of which are staffed with a dedicated trauma credentialed nursing staff. If critical care is necessary due to the severity of the injury, the patient is transferred to the Surgical Trauma Unit, which is an eight-bed intensive care unit overseen by trauma surgeons and trauma resident staff. Intermediate or monitored care is provided on the Trauma Step-Down Unit (Four West) and observation care is provided on the Trauma Medical Surgical Unit (One West). Care is overseen on these units by the ‘on call’ trauma surgeon and the trauma nurse practitioners.
Trauma patients on all trauma units also benefit from specialized care and daily assessments from the multidisciplinary team. The entire multidisciplinary team reviews the patient status for the prior 24 hours at the daily trauma morning and then visits every patient at their bedside every morning to establish the plan of care for that day. All members of the team are available to answer any questions about the patient’s plan of care with the patient himself or his/her family throughout the day, and the on-call trauma surgeon is available 24 hours a day.
“The Crozer Regional Trauma Center is truly an outstanding team. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated and experienced professionals throughout the medical center working together every day to care for critically injured patients,” says Muhammed H. Budeir, M.D., medical director of the Crozer Regional Trauma Center.
In addition to providing state-of-the-art trauma services around the clock, the Trauma Center offers several community-outreach programs that focus on trauma injury prevention. For children and teenagers, there are public education programs about playground, bike and seatbelt safety. For seniors, the staff also regularly presents programs at area senior centers, discussing topics such as home safety.
The injury prevention staff works to increase the public’s awareness on automobile safety, as well. Because 17 percent of trauma injuries are from automobile accidents, and 20 percent of those accidents are due to distracted driving (anything from texting or talking on the cell phone to applying makeup), the staff underscores the importance of vigilance as a way to remain safe. The medical center staff was recently provided injury prevention education to make the health care team aware of the risk of distracted driving and the importance of setting a good example to our community.
Trauma Center staff takes peer education and trauma credentialing of the multidisciplinary team seriously, conducting an annual adult and pediatric symposium for healthcare professionals throughout the community. These symposiums are intended to reach and educate professionals of all types.
This highly professional, streamlined, multidisciplinary approach has earned the Crozer Regional Trauma Center recognition from medical governing bodies as well as from patients themselves. The staff certainly has earned the respect of Captain Davis—and, though, he is retired, he still brings them coffee when he visits.
To learn more, please visit crozerkeystone.org/Trauma.