Trauma Medical Specialties - CHI Health, Nebraska (NE) - Southwest Iowa (IA)
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Trauma Surgery

Trauma surgery and surgical critical care is a special branch of surgery for the care of patients with acute, life-threatening or potentially life-threatening surgical conditions. Specialists in surgical critical care possess advanced knowledge and skills that enable them to provide comprehensive care to critically ill patients from all surgical specialties and in all age groups. Trauma and critical care surgeons at CHI Health are certified by the American Board of Surgery in critical care surgery and have received fellowship training in trauma surgery. Trauma surgeons are available 24/7 at Creighton University Medical Center's Level I Trauma Center. They are specially trained to rapidly identify life threatening injuries and have the ability to take patients to the operating room within minutes.

Orthopedic Trauma Surgery

Orthopedic trauma is a subspecialty of orthopedic surgery that addresses complicated or multiple injuries to the bones, joints, and soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments) of the entire body following trauma. Orthopedic trauma surgeons must quickly assess the patient's injuries and prioritize the order for treating them, while anticipating and preventing complications.

Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval Creighton University Medical Center was the second hospital in the U.S. and is the only hospital in the region recognized by the Joint Commission for its management of orthopedic trauma. CUMC earned the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval by demonstrating compliance with the commission's national standards for healthcare quality and safety orthopedic trauma care. The Trauma Center staff also is trained specifically in the care of the orthopedic trauma patients.

Rib Plating

Rib fractures are the most common type of chest injury. They account for 10 to 15 percent of traumatic injuries and 20% of all trauma deaths. Thoracic trauma has a high rate of complications for patients, due to associated injuries, including pulmonary contusions, pneumothorax (collapsed lung), hemothorax, and pleural effusions (excess fluid pools around the lung). Rib fractures can be very painful and even worse; their complications can be life-threatening.

Creighton University Medical Center was the first facility in the region to offer rib plating, an advanced procedure specifically for repairing rib fractures. This procedure enables rib fractures to heal more quickly, thus minimizing pain and complications from allowing such fractures to heal on their own.


Neurosurgery specialists provide comprehensive treatment of injuries associated with the brain, spine and spinal cord. 1.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury and 11,000 persons are hospitalized for spinal cord injury each year. Most injuries are caused motor vehicle accidents, falls, violence and sports. These types of injuries are complicated and can be devastating, but survivability has increased in recent years due to improved pre-hospital and specialized trauma care.

Maxillofacial Surgery

Facial trauma, also called maxillofacial trauma, is any physical trauma to the face, including fractures of the upper and lower jaws, the bones surrounding the eyes, and facial lacerations. The maxillofacial surgeon's knowledge of the facial structures is critical, even life-saving, when repairing complex facial fractures. CHI Health has a plastic and maxillofacial surgeon available for trauma cases.

Burn Care

A burn is an injury caused by thermal, chemical, electrical, or radiation energy. The initial burn trauma care provided can have a major impact on long-term outcome. The Trauma Team performs a rapid assessment and develops a priority-based plan of care determined by the type, extent and degree of burns. The CUMC trauma team works closely with the Saint Elizabeth Regional Burn and Wound Center, another Catholic Health Initiatives hospital. The Saint Elizabeth Burn Center, was the region's first dedicated burn unit. It is the only burn center in Nebraska verified through the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons. The Saint Elizabeth Regional Burn and Wound Center is internationally recognized for outstanding research and for providing the latest treatments and procedures for serious burns or for wounds that will not heal.

Vascular Trauma Care

Peripheral vascular trauma occurs when there are injuries to blood vessels outside the heart. This type of trauma may result from penetrating injuries (stab, glass, gunshot), or blunt force injuries (fall or impact with a steering wheel in a motor vehicle accident.). Injuries to major arteries, veins, and nerves need to be identified and treated rapidly to prevent loss of life and limb. In addition to our staff of trauma surgeons, Creighton University Medical Center's Trauma Center has two Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgical specialists who treat injuries to the peripheral vascular system and chest.

Trauma Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is begun while the patients are in the hospital to help them regain the maximum level of function as quickly as possible. Rehabilitation therapy specialists assess motor functions and the ability to perform daily activities. Rehabilitation is continued at Immanuel Rehabilitation Center, a state-of-the-art inpatient facility, which has received the highest level of accreditation awarded by the Joint Commission, an accrediting body for hospitals and healthcare organizations, and by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Immanuel Rehabilitation Center provides full range of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services, including: brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation, amputation and major orthopedic trauma and physical, occupational and speech therapy, if needed. These services are led by a team of physiatrists, physicians who specialize in physical rehabilitation. After inpatient care, CHI Health at Home provides complete home care services after the patient is released from Immanuel Rehabilitation Center.