Trauma Surgery

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A trauma center is designed to care for adults and children after the most serious injuries, including car crashes, gunshots, and falls. If you or a family member are severely injured, rest assured knowing that the only level 1 trauma center in western Massachusetts is at Baystate Medical Center.

The Only Level 1 Trauma Center In Western Massachusetts

Baystate Medical Center is an American College of Surgeons verified level 1 trauma center, which means it provides the highest level of surgical care for trauma patients.

As a level 1 trauma center, Baystate:

  • Is staffed with a multidisciplinary team of nurses, doctors, and surgeons available every day, 24 hours a day.
  • Offers total care for every aspect of a serious injury.
  • Features a comprehensive quality assessment program.
  • Has state-of-the-art medical equipment and other specialized resources for people who need trauma care.
  • Has a helipad equipped with an elevator that opens directly into the trauma center.
  • Runs a teaching and research programs to support innovations in trauma care.
  • Runs a program for substance abuse screening.

Experts In Timely, Comprehensive Care

The nurses, doctors, and surgeons who make up Baystate’s trauma team are specially trained to treat traumatic injuries. Every year, we care for more than 2,000 people.

Our goal is to save lives and, whenever possible, make it possible for people to return to normal life after a serious injury. To do this, trauma staff work quickly to identify the right equipment, procedures, and specialists. When seconds count, you can count on our team.

The Baystate trauma care team includes:

  • Board-certified trauma surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, rehabilitation specialists
  • Physician assistants
  • Registered nurses

Other highly trained medical professionals, including respiratory therapists, X-ray technicians, critical care specialists, orthopedic surgeons, heart and vascular specialists.

On top of providing expert care to critically ill and injured patients, we are also dedicated to research, education, and serving our community.

Services & Treatment

Our trauma experts provide emergency care and surgery for critically ill people and people injured due to car accidents, falls, or gunshots. Surgery is performed at Baystate Medical Center and, if necessary, patients may remain in our Intensive Care Unit.

Baystate Medical Center offers the following resources for specialized trauma care:

  • Specially equipped operating rooms
  • Ambulance and air transport of patients
  • Nutritionists
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Specialized social work and pastoral care services to support patients and families as they receive care and during discharge
  • Case managers who help patients and families with discharge planning
What You Can Expect

When you’re visiting a loved one who has experienced trauma, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the noisy machines as well as the tubes and wires. Remember, these machines are there either to directly support the patient or to help the team monitor and care for the patient.

In general, you can expect that conversation with your family member may be difficult.

  • Some patients are unconscious or semi-unconsciousness due to their physical conditions or medications.
  • Even when they are awake, some patients are not able to communicate.
  • Patients who need ventilators (respirators) are attached to the machine by a tube which makes it impossible for them to talk.
  • Some patients may be able to write.

You may notice that there are tubes coming out and going into the patient. These tubes have different functions. When people are unable to eat, drink, or take medication, all of their needs must be supplied by fluids given through the veins.

Critically ill patients may need intravenous fluids for nutrition, transfusions, and medications to change or maintain their blood pressure, to support bodily functions or restore the body's chemical balance.

You may find that the patient has very little covering. This is because the team needs to see and feel the skin, observe the movements of breathing, and perform frequent exams. We make every effort to maintain the patient's modesty and dignity.

Patients are given many fluids, which may make your loved one appear swollen. You may notice areas of hair that were shaved during surgery.

The nurses, doctors, and surgeons welcome your questions. Speak up if there’s anything we can help you with during your visit.

Tips For Talking With The Trauma Team

It’s important to communicate with your loved one’s care team. Below are some tips that may help you.

  • Find out who the primary doctor and nurse are. Introduce yourself. Ask about their schedule and arrange a time to talk on a regular basis.
  • Prepare ahead for the meetings. Write a list of questions.
  • Select a family spokesperson who can speak for all of you and who can share new information with the rest of the family.
  • Provide as much information as you can about the patient, especially if the patient is unable to communicate.
  • Be sure to share with the critical care physician any of the patient’s wishes regarding surgery, life support equipment, dialysis and other difficult decisions. Try as much as you can to
  • express the patient's wishes or what you believe to be the patient's wishes.
  • Write down information you might not remember, especially if you are responsible for passing it on to the rest of the family.
  • Make sure the health care team knows how to contact you when you are not at the hospital. Also, make sure that you know how to reach them when you need to.
  • Ask the nurses specifically what you can do to help.
  • Be sure to check with the doctor in charge if you feel you have heard any conflicting or puzzling information.
Trauma Nurses
The Trauma Center at Baystate Medical Center has specially trained nurses who work with patients, families and the trauma team.

The nurse is an important member of the trauma care team. In addition to caring for patients, the nurse helps communicate and coordinate with your entire team of doctors.

You may reach a trauma nurse at 413-794-8020.
Discharge Planning

Baystate Health will support your family through to discharge and rehabilitation.

We encourage trauma patients and their loved ones to work with a social worker or hospital case manager. They can connect you with:


Ask your care team about the support services available or contact social services and hospital case managers at the numbers below.

  • To reach a social worker, call Social Services at 413-794-3264 from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • To reach a hospital case management or discharge coordinator, call 413-794-4040.
Manage Your Health Information Using MyBaystate
Sign in online or download the MyBaystate patient portal app to access your health information.

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