An Internist’s View of Trauma Units: From Ancient Warfare to Modern Assistive Technology
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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.
KeywordsWarfare Transfusion Posttraumatic stress disorder Medical consultation Assistive technology Percutaneous tracheostomy Sepsis Community resource Triage Robotics
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