Trauma is the branch of surgical medicine that deals with treating injuries caused by an impact. Many trauma patients are the victims of car crashes, stabbings, and gunshot wounds. Trauma can also be caused by falls, crush type injuries, and pedestrians being struck by a car.
- In the case of severe trauma, such as a catastrophic car crash, the trauma surgeon may be one part of a surgical team that includes vascular surgeons (to repair damage to blood vessels), orthopedic surgeons (to repair broken bones), and other surgeons as needed.
- An emergency surgery is a procedure that must be performed immediately, and without which a patient could be permanently harmed or die. Examples of emergency surgeries include less serious surgeries like an appendectomy or a fixation of a broken bone. More serious surgeries include attempting to stop massive bleeding after a gunshot wound or repairing a brain aneurysm, which is causing the brain to fill with blood.
- The overall responsibility for trauma care falls under the auspices of general surgery. General surgeons must be able to deal initially with almost any surgical emergency. Often they are the first port of call to critically ill or gravely injured patients, and must perform a variety of procedures to stabilize such patients.