An Internist’s View of Trauma Units: From Ancient Warfare to Modern Assistive Technology

  • Cory Franklin


This chapter traces the evolution of the trauma unit, including the history of the first comprehensive civilian trauma unit in the United States at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Trauma units were developed largely as a result of advances in battlefield medicine during warfare and combat, dating back to ancient times. Today’s trauma unit requires a multifaceted team approach with surgical and medical specialists, nurses, therapists, and other staff all working together. The advent of computer technology and robotics lets trauma patients benefit as never before in terms of communication, mobility, and environmental adaptation. The modern trauma unit must also devote special attention to the problem of posttraumatic stress disorder, which patients and caregivers are both susceptible to. A comprehensive approach to trauma, from the initial point of triage and resuscitation to caring for the patient’s long-term requirements, makes the trauma unit an important community resource.


Warfare Transfusion Posttraumatic stress disorder Medical consultation Assistive technology Percutaneous tracheostomy Sepsis Community resource Triage Robotics 


  1. Ashbaugh, D. G., Bigelow, D. B., Petty, T. L., & Levine, B. E. (1967). Acute respiratory distress in adults. Lancet, 2(7511), 312–323.Google Scholar
  2. Franklin, C. (2013). Newtown tragedy is a reminder that police, first responders also suffer PTSD. Available via The Guardian. Accessed 1 Dec 2017.
  3. Franklin, C. M. (2015). Cook County ICU: 30 years of unforgettable patients and odd cases. Chicago: Chicago Review Press.Google Scholar
  4. Friedman, Y., Fildes, J., Mizock, B., Samuel, J., Patel, S., Appavu, S., et al. (1996). Comparison of percutaneous and surgical tracheostomies. Chest, 110(2), 480–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gabriel, R. A., & Metz, K. S. (1992). A history of military medicine. Contributions in military studies 124 (Vol. 2). New York: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  6. Guinan, P. D., Printen, K. A., Stone, J. L., & Yao, J. S. T. (Eds.). (2015). A history of surgery at Cook County Hospital. Chicago: Amika Press.Google Scholar
  7. Hamby, W. B. (1967). Ambroise Paré, surgeon of the Renaissance. St. Louis, MO: WH Green.Google Scholar
  8. Janega, J. (2014). First blood bank (1937): How Chicago invented the blood bank. Available via Chicago Tribune. Accessed 1 Dec 2017.
  9. Lumb, P. D. (2016). William C. Shoemaker, MD, MCCM. Journal of Critical Care, 33, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Martin, C. (2016). Ex-N.F.L. Player’s new team takes on challenges of A.L.S. Available via New York Times. Accessed 1 Dec 2017.
  11. Rispoli, M., Machalicek, W., & Lang, R. (2014). Assistive technology for people with acquired brain injury. In G. E. Lancioni & N. N. Singh (Eds.), Assistive technologies for people with diverse abilities (1st ed., pp. 21–52). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Slater, E. (2002). Curtain falls on Chicago’s Cook Hospital. Available via Los Angeles Times Accessed 1 Dec 2017.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cory Franklin
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Intensive Care DivisionCook County HospitalChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations