Trauma Anesthesia PDF Print E-mail

Trauma is an unpredictable occurrence where patients can experience through a continuum mild injury to death. Trauma patients are cared for in the operating room throughout the world by anesthesiologists as part of our "on call" responsibilities. American Anesthesiology's anesthesiologists are prepared to treat a variety of patients (from young to old, healthy or sick) presenting for any required surgery, at any time of the day or night. These patients may be unstable due to the mechanism of their injury, severe bleeding, brain injury or other underlying medical conditions. Due to potential for rapid decline in the patient’s condition, AA of VA’s anesthesiologists must have a broad knowledge of the specialty and of medicine in general and must be prepared to act suddenly and resourcefully. Some of the topics that our physicians must keep current on include advanced airway management techniques and protocols, anesthetic drug selection, cutting-edge resuscitation techniques for patients in hemorrhagic shock, timely monitoring and treatment of traumatic brain injuries, various non-surgical approaches to hemostasis, sophisticated ventilator management, and trans-esophageal echocardiography.

 

An anesthesiologist is present when requested at every patient’s admission to the hospital. We assess the patient’s ability to manage his or her airway. If compromised, our anesthesiologists will facilitate placement of a secure airway. We are available to assist the Trauma team in the emergency room with invasive line placement, sedation and facilitate early pain control as requested.

 

In the operating room, our anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists are part of the trauma team taking care of the patient. Our anesthesia team is particularly desired during trauma anesthesia because of our familiarity with how certain anesthetics interact with a critical patient’s vital life functions, such as blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. We play an important role by enabling effective airway management and resuscitation, administering safe anesthetics, invasive line placement (central lines or arterial lines), managing fluids such as blood transfusions, and initiating various medications to stabilize a patient’s vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate). Through our vital role, our anesthesiologists allow our trauma surgeons to focus on and treat the patient’s assorted injuries.