Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute

When a Child is Injured

The Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute is dedicated to providing the best medical care for your child in the event he or she suffers a traumatic injury. All members of the trauma team are highly trained to successfully treat pediatric patients from the site of injury until he or she is ready to leave the hospital.

The trauma team includes emergency medical personnel, doctors, nurses, technicians and child life and rehabilitation specialists.

The following is a short guide to what happens when a child is injured and the trauma team responds...

A continuum of care for your child

Care of the pediatric trauma patient begins at the scene of the injury. The emergency medical persons responding to a trauma know that "seconds count". They institute their emergency care expertise and skills, stabilizing the patient and transferring him or her to a trauma center.

The mode of transportation is either by ambulance or helicopter depending on the severity of the injury, distance from a trauma center and weather conditions. Meanwhile, the medical staff at the receiving hospital is notified about the incoming trauma patient.

With this notification, a pager system at the hospital is set off to alert the trauma team that they will soon have a patient in the emergency room to care for. The team is mobilized to anticipate what the patient will need for medical interventions based on the injury. Everything is readied in the emergency room.

Upon arrival of the patient in the trauma bay, the trauma surgeon, the Emergency Department physician and the trauma team assess the patient and any needed diagnostic tests such as X-rays are done.
If the child needs further x-rays, the patient is transported by the trauma team to the CT scanner where scans of injuries are completed. A radiologist is present to read the films and to determine what kind of injuries have been incurred.

If surgery is needed, the patient is immediately taken to the operating room. After surgery or if there is no need for immediate surgery, the patient is transported to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) where nurses, ICU doctors and a whole contingency of staff will care for the patient until he or she is well enough to be transferred to the pediatric ward.

Patients are closely followed and treated on the pediatric ward as they recover. Family members may stay in the hospital with the patient and are an important part of the child's recovery.

At Tufts Medical Center, members of the Child Life Services team are able to help the patient and family better understand the treatment he or she is undergoing and to cope with feelings about the injury and the further treatment that may be needed. Patients may spend time at "Ace's Place" playroom or Child Life specialists visit the patient's bedside with activities if the child is not mobile.

The Social Work Services Team is available to help families with a variety of issues ranging from individual, family or group counseling to providing resource information and referral. When the child has sufficiently recuperated, he or she may be referred for rehabilitative care or is ready to go home. Follow up visits may also be necessary to ensure a full recovery.

Our goal is to treat each child who is the victim of traumatic injury as quickly, efficiently and compassionately as possible and to guide patients and families through the process of a successful recovery.