How trauma and the ER are different

Emergency care and trauma care are similar in some ways. They both involve the rapid delivery of life-saving medical interventions, and neither department in a hospital requires an appointment. Beyond these similarities, the differences are striking. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, we believe our patients in the Las Vegas community deserve superior care for the best possible outcome. We’re pleased to offer both trauma care and emergency care.

ER: Conditions treated
Emergency Rooms are equipped to handle both life-threatening and non-life-threatening medical emergencies. Patients may be taken to the ER via an ambulance, or a family member might drive them there. ER physicians and nurses commonly treat the following medical emergencies:

  • Broken bones
  • Severe respiratory infections
  • Heart attacks
  • Stroke
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Psychiatric emergencies

Some patients who arrive at the ER receive immediate evaluation and treatment, such as those who have signs of a stroke or heart attack. Others, such as those with minor infections or ankle sprains, wait for care while emergent patients are being seen.

Trauma Center: Conditions treated
In contrast to ERs, Trauma Centers only treat patients who require immediate stabilization and treatment for life-threatening injuries. Because of the nature of their injuries, trauma patients are almost always taken to the hospital in an ambulance or medevac helicopter.

Patients treated at the Trauma Center may have the following injuries:

  • Gunshot wounds
  • Stab wounds
  • Car crash injuries
  • Traumatic fall injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Blunt-force trauma
  • Major burn injuries
  • Traumatic loss of body parts

These are all severe, traumatic injuries, in contrast to the conditions treated at an ER, which include infections and cardiovascular events.

ER and Trauma Center healthcare providers
Emergency Rooms are staffed by emergency medicine physicians, who may be board certified. Physician assistants and ER nurses, including triage nurses, also assist patients in the ER. Other specialists may be available, such as pediatric ER doctors.

When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a surgeon discuss the healthcare providers available at Trauma Centers. These include:

  • Trauma surgeons
  • Registered nurses
  • Clinical nurse specialists
  • Dietitians
  • Pharmacists
  • Chaplain
  • Case and social workers
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Respiratory therapists

Other specialists may be available, such as neurosurgeons, orthopedic specialists and pediatric specialists.

Please call 911 without delay if you or someone else is experiencing a medical emergency. Otherwise, you can get in touch with a registered nurse at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center by calling (702) 233-5300. Our healthcare providers in Las Vegas have made it their life’s work to deliver the high-caliber quality of care that saves lives and helps patients achieve the best possible outcome.

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