This group of pediatric surgeons and surgical subspecialists, emergency medicine physicians, critical care physicians, anesthesiologists, nurses, child life specialists, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, physical, occupational and respiratory therapists and other support staff work together effectively and efficiently when seconds matter.
As a Level I pediatric trauma center, Texas Children’s Hospital provides around-the-clock coverage to evaluate and treat the most severely injured pediatric patients. Averaging over 1,000 trauma admissions per year at our Texas Medical Center campus, teamwork is crucial in the rapid and decisive actions needed to treat traumatic injuries.
Dedicated space for trauma cases is available in the Emergency Center, our main operating room suite and inpatient units. Approximately 70 percent of all trauma cases come from within the Metro Houston catchment area, which consists of nine counties covering more than 9,500 square miles.
Over 50 percent of the trauma patients cared for at Texas Children’s Hospital are transferred from other hospitals. The average time to accept a transfer is 15 minutes, well below the 30 minute threshold that is allowed by federal regulation.
Texas Children’s Hospital has been verified as a level I Pediatric Trauma Center since 2010. The level of verification was requested by the hospital and the on-site review of the hospital was conducted by a team of reviewers experienced in the field of trauma. Using the current Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual as a guideline, this team determined if the criteria for the requested level have been met.
Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the Consultation/Verification Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the prehospital phase through the rehabilitation process. Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance.
Quality & Outcomes
Texas Children’s Trauma Services aims to continuously evaluate and improve the quality of care given to trauma patients from the perspective of our patients, parents, providers and system. Our trauma process improvement program monitors and evaluates patient care and system performance, while ensuring implementation of a culture of safety. The team participates in the American College of Surgeons’ Trauma Quality Improvement Program and attends the annual scientific meeting and training which compares and provides benchmarking for all level I and II trauma centers.
The Trauma Services team is also engaged in multiple projects aimed at enhancing patient care and quality outcomes including:
- Compartment Syndrome Project: combating compartment syndrome
- Recognizing at risk behaviors through screening completed by staff including the six crucial screening questions to ask patients 12 years of age and older surrounding inappropriate or excessive drug and alcohol usage
- Providing education for parents on the Period of PURPLE Crying in order to reduce infant head traumas as a result of abuse
- Improving trauma team response by simplification of the paging process
- Updating of Blunt Abdominal Trauma Protocol by examination of blunt spleen and liver injury management
- Improving monitoring of patient outcomes and injury sequela by updating the trauma patient registry and analysis of trauma triage and assessments