Emergency medicine and trauma medicine are usually lumped together because of their seemingly overlapping aspects. However, these two specialties are entirely different. The decision as to whether a patient should be placed in a trauma center or standard emergency room hinges on one’s prevailing situation and/or the evaluation of paramedics.
Let’s delve into the distinctions between emergency medicine and trauma medicine.
What Is Emergency Medicine?
Emergency medicine is defined as the specialty that focuses on the evaluation and care of patients who have an acute illness or injury. It addresses a broader spectrum of common conditions and injuries— ranging from minor, non-life-threatening injuries to acute, severe conditions:
- Chest pain
- Loss of Consciousness
- Heart Attack
- Broken bones
- Minor burns
- Severe vomiting
What Is Trauma Medicine?
Trauma medicine deals with physical injuries that have a sudden onset, are severe in nature, and apparently require immediate medical attention. The following are examples of injuries that require trauma care:
- Vehicular crash injuries
- Blunt force trauma
- Gunshot wounds
- Severe burns
- Stab wounds
- Traumatic brain injuries
Trauma centers are staffed and equipped to manage extreme cases where immediate survival is a priority. They are located within the hospital and are part of a larger emergency department.
Differences Between ER Doctors and Trauma Doctors
ER doctors and trauma doctors are two key players in the emergency room. While both are tasked with responding to emergency situations, they have significant distinctions, which include the following:
ER doctors and trauma surgeons start off with the same training in medical school but proceed with different specializations after graduation. Trauma surgery involves a five- or six-year residency for general surgery followed by up to two years for trauma fellowship. Emergency medicine, on the other hand, is relatively shorter, taking only three or four years, depending on the program.
Both ER doctors and trauma surgeons have to comply with prescribed standards for continuing education. Emergency room physicians focus on comprehensive medical care and initial stabilization of patients, whereas trauma surgeons need to stay abreast of advancements in surgical techniques,
Another distinction between trauma surgeons and ER doctors lies in their responsibilities and contact with patients. Among other important functions, an ER doctor is tasked with stabilizing and treating patients in the ER, then referring them for hospital admission or further care from other specialists when necessary. Trauma surgeons, on the other hand, are in charge of patients from the time of their arrival, to their surgery, right through to their eventual discharge.
Orthopedic Trauma Surgeons in Westlake & Avon, OH
For superior orthopedic trauma care, look no further than Orthopaedic Associates Inc. We have highly skilled, board-certified surgeons, such as Dr. Joseph M. Lowry and Dr. Steven Cotman, who can provide exceptional care and treatment to patients with orthopedic trauma injuries. Dr. Lowry and Dr. Cotman work with a team of compassionate, highly trained healthcare specialists that treats each of our patients as family.
If you have questions or would like to make an appointment with any one of our orthopedic trauma surgeons, call us at (440) 892-1440 or (866) 362-7624. We look forward to serving you!