Your hospital experience
Most of the children who come to the Trauma Center start in Boston Children's Hospital's Emergency Department, often with care that started at the scene of the injury.
What happens when an injured child comes to the hospital?
First, the child is evaluated and stabilized. State-of-the-art imaging technology assists the team in initiating treatment, with tests that can include MRI, CT scan, and/or ultrasound. These tests are interpreted by pediatric radiologists. Additional pediatric medical and surgical specialists consult with the Trauma Team as needed, so that we can tailor our care to each child.
At Children's, we recognize that it's the family that's the most important source of emotional support and comfort for a child. With this in mind, the family's presence at the child's side is welcomed in most scenarios.
We make every effort to ensure a smooth flow of information between care providers and the family, providing foreign language interpreters when needed.
What happens next?
Depending on the severity of the injury, a child may be treated and released from the hospital or admitted into inpatient care.
Patients with severe injuries may be admitted to the Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU). Here, teams of pediatric medical and surgical critical care specialists work together to care for injured children. Some patients may be cared for on inpatient units that focus on specific needs: neurosurgery, orthopedics, adolescent surgery or infant/toddler surgery.
An extra measure of support
A child's injury can be a nerve-racking experience on many levels. The Trauma Team understands this and works hard to lessen child and family stress. We're available to answer questions and talk through any concerns. The hospital's Family Support Services provides emotional support and helpful assistance with matters related to a child's stay. Our Center for Families helps families find the information they need to understand their child's medical condition and take part in their care.
After the hospital stay
Some patients may need rehabilitative care after their inpatient stay. The Trauma Team helps make this transition as smooth as possible. Trauma Nurse Coordinator Maria McMahon, RN, MSN, CCRN, communicates with the inpatient team on clinical care and other possible concerns, such as learning needs, and coordinates with rehab facilities as patients transfer out of Children's.
Outpatient clinics such as those within the Brain Injury Program and the Orthopedic, Neurosurgery and General Surgery programs provide support for injuries that could affect a child's long-term development.