Trauma is the fifth most common cause of death in the United States. It is also the number one cause of death in the first four decades of life. In the 30 years since Cooper opened its Level 1 Trauma Center, thousands of lives have been saved. With close to 3,000 annual admissions, the Cooper University Health Care Level 1 Trauma Center is the busiest in the Delaware Valley.
Cooper’s trauma team, led by an attending surgeon, is always ready to treat any victim who arrives by land or air, 24 hours a day,
365 days a year. Every patient receives an immediate response to their critical needs by an experienced team involving all necessary surgical and medical services.
Although most people think of gunshot wounds as ‘trauma,’ falls are the most common reason people come to any trauma center, including Cooper’s. Motor vehicle crashes are the second most frequent cause of trauma admissions at Cooper. Our goal is to provide the patient with the right care, right now,” says Steven E. Ross, MD, FACS, who has been in charge of the Cooper Trauma Center since 1988.
Cooper’s trauma surgeons are all fellowship trained and board certified (or eligible) in general surgery and surgical critical care. Cooper’s trauma team includes pediatric specialists who are available 24 hours a day and is equipped to handle the needs of injured children, including a separate pediatric resuscitation room. Cooper’s trauma surgeons also perform emergency surgeries so those patients receive surgical care in a timely fashion, as well.
The main trauma resuscitation area is designed to handle four or more patients at a time. Patients arriving by helicopter are brought into a rooftop resuscitation room so there is no delay in treatment. If needed, Cooper is able to handle the needs of numerous patients in a mass casualty event.
Cooper Trauma: Excellence in Patient Care, Education and Advocacy
Education: All Cooper surgical and emergency medicine residents rotate through the trauma service. In addition, surgical residents from other regional surgical and emergency medicine residencies train at Cooper as well. Students from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine and in the future, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, all rotate on Cooper’s trauma and surgical critical care units. More than 40 surgeons have completed their fellowship training at Cooper and have gone on to be directors of major trauma centers, chairs of departments of surgery, and leaders of international surgical organizations.
Emergency Medical Services: Many educational programs for the EMS community are conducted annually, most with accompanying CEUs. Topics include trauma triage and transport, traumatic brain injury, chest and abdominal injuries.
Injury Prevention Program: Cooper works with area schools by giving presentations for driver’s education classes, encouraging kids to drive safely during prom season, and teaches students about risk-taking activities and summer safety. The center also has a fall prevention program for the elderly.
Research: Mark J. Seamon, MD, FACS, Medical Director of the Cooper Trauma Center, leads Cooper’s trauma research effort, making advances in the control of hemorrhage, traumatic cardiac injuries, and long-term patient outcomes after major trauma.