For patients who suffer life-threatening or life-changing injury, New Hanover Regional Medical Center provides the only Trauma Center in the region. More than 1,700 patients per year are admitted to the hospital through the Trauma Center, one of 10 Level II or higher trauma sites designated by the state's Office of Emergency Medical Services. Our designation as a trauma center reflects our commitment to making sure you have access to highly coordinated and skilled care if you ever face a sudden medical crisis.  Of course, preventing a traumatic injury is just as important.  We also provide outreach programs to prevent injuries wherever possible.

Coordinated Trauma Care

The Trauma Services Department is just part of the team working together to provide you with excellent trauma care.  We work closely with those who care for you before you arrive at the hospital, including New Hanover Regional EMS, VitaLink and AirLink, and the teams within the hospital. The Trauma Center includes:

What It Means to be a Trauma Center

As a Trauma Center, New Hanover Regional Medical Center provides:

  • Board-certified surgeons, nurses and other staff are available 24 hours a day, every day
  • An Emergency Department with physicians who are board-certified in Emergency Medicine and an operating room that can be immediately available
  • Resuscitation equipment for patients of all ages
  • Nursing staff with trauma care experience
  • Outreach program for injury prevention 
  • Documented continuing education for staff and physicians
  • A full-time Trauma Performance Improvement Coordinator, Trauma Program Manager and Trauma Medical Director who work together to direct continuous improvement activities with the goal of reducing trauma morbidity and mortality
  • A Trauma Registry, which captures over 300 data elements on every trauma admission. This data is used to identify opportunities to prevent injury, improve care, and monitor trauma patient outcomes

Department of Trauma Services

The Department of Trauma Services encompasses direct patient care, and provides outreach and educational programs to the community. Trauma Services provides direct clinical care to the trauma patient through the trauma teams, surgical attending, residents, and nursing staff. Throughout the course of treatment, the trauma residents monitor care until the patient is ready to be discharged home or transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

Trauma Services also provides the administrative supervision for all Trauma Services programs, including the Southeastern Regional Advisory Committee (SERAC). SERAC develops standards of trauma care, and provides guidelines for the transfer of the trauma patient. Trauma Services also directs the community outreach and injury prevention programs, providing continuing educational programs for providers of trauma care. In addition, Trauma Services maintains the trauma registry and reports vital data to state and national agencies for benchmarking and ongoing improvement.

The trauma team is a group of healthcare professionals organized to provide care to the trauma patient. This multidisciplinary team approach to the care of trauma patients is critical to the success of the trauma program. Through collaboration, every member of the trauma team supports an important component of trauma care that contributes to successful patient outcomes.