When to Go to a Trauma Center or a Community Hospital

Hosted by Steven E. Ross, MD

The key to good emergency care is getting the right patient to the right facility in the shortest amount of time. Traumatic injury claims the lives of over 3,500 people in New Jersey each year and sends another 60,000 people to the hospital or emergency room. Most traumatic injuries result from car accidents, with close to 800 deaths and 7,000 hospital admissions annually. Other top causes of unintentional injury and traumatic death in NJ include poisoning, falls, fire and burns, sports and recreational activities, on the job accidents, and finally, violence.

Now that summer is almost here, so is “trauma season.” Hospitals often become swamped with patients experiencing illnesses and injuries related to the heat and warm weather activities – lawn mowing, home repairs, swimming, diving, boating, biking, barbecuing and more. Being prepared and knowing the ins and the outs of the emergency medical response system can help you better understand what happens and where to go in case something traumatic happens to you or someone you love.

Log on and submit your question to Cooper’s Steven E. Ross, MD, FACS, FCCM, Vice Chief, Department of Surgery, Head, Division of Trauma and Director of Cooper’s Level 1 Trauma Center. The Cooper Trauma Center is one of three Level 1 trauma centers in the state of New Jersey and is the only one with a dedicated pediatric admitting area. Each year, Dr. Ross and his team care for nearly 2,500 trauma patients that arrive at the hospital by land or air.

Steven E. Ross, MD, FACS, FCCM came to Cooper in 1984 and has been in charge of the Division of Trauma and Cooper’s Level 1 Trauma Center since 1988. Dr. Ross received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, and completed his general surgery residency at York Hospital, York, PA, and his fellowship in trauma and surgical critical care at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KA. He is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care. Dr. Ross has served as the chairman of the State Trauma Center Council, as a member of the Jersey Emergency Medical Shock Trauma Air Rescue (JEMSTAR) Steering Committee, the State EMS Council and the board of directors for the New Jersey Organ Tissue Sharing Network.