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Did you know? ED equipped for immediate trauma surgery

23 Dec 2018

Emergency department can handle eight patients before surge mode

By: Nancy Bee, RN, nurse manager, Emergency Services

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BeeNancy-02-020918With the recent mass shootings and disasters on people’s minds, we wanted to share something reassuring during the holiday season.

The Salem Health Emergency Department can handle mass casualties with its state-of-the-art “Trauma Bay” ready to transform immediately into a fully staffed and equipped operating room.

“We’ve added new lighting, have fully stocked carts and a plan to bring OR staff to the bay at a moment’s notice,” said Nicole VanDerHeyden, MD, associate chief medical officer.

The Salem Health ED draws from a pool of:

  • 54 trauma nurses
  • 37 emergency physicians
  • 15 trauma surgeons (including six intensive care physicians also trained in trauma surgery)
  • 18 operating rooms (12 equipped for trauma)
  • 85-95 units of universal donor blood

As a Level 2 Trauma Center, Salem Health’s ED can handle eight critical patients  before switching into “surge” mode, which can quickly grow to handle up to 50 patients needing emergency surgery.

“We continually review the ED through the Lean system, so we’re always improving and fine-tuning systems, supplies and practices,” said Nancy Bee, RN, ED nurse manager.

Salem Hospital admits nearly 1,000 trauma patients a year to the hospital. In addition to continuous improvement for trauma care, our team continually plans and drills to prepare for mass casualty incidents.