Hello and welcome to trauma coordination!
You are joining an amazing group of highly dedicated nurses and medics across the state of Iowa. Trauma can impact any individual. Trauma (unintentional injury) is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and is the leading cause of death in individuals 1-44 years of age. Iowa hospitals report the treatment of approximately 26,600 trauma patients per year. Iowa’s top five causes of injury are typically: falls, motor vehicle incidents, being struck by or against objects, cuts and piercing, and incidents involving other land transport (ATV, snow mobiles, etc.). Incidents related to falls cause the most injuries. Motor vehicle associated incidents are typically the second highest cause of injury. In 2022, the top three causes of unintentional injury in Iowa were associated with falls, poisonings and motor vehicles. Of these unintentional injuries that resulted in 1,815 deaths, 740 were related to falls, 497 were related to poisoning, and 348 related to motor vehicles. Suicides tragically accounted for 582 deaths in Iowa in that same year.
Such a wide scale issue cannot be solved by a single entity or discipline. Providing optimal care for injured patients must be managed from a systems approach. This approach needs to be inclusive of prevention and mitigation, provision of acute and definitive care, and rehabilitation. These approaches must be supported by data, evidence based practice, and research to be effective.
Iowa HHS remains the lead agency responsible for the statewide trauma system. The Bureau of Emergency Medical Services oversaw the initial development of the trauma system. Currently, the Bureau of Emergency Medical and Trauma Services (BEMTS) oversees the statewide trauma program, emergency medical services and providers, and public health and hospital emergency preparedness programs. BEMTS also provides support and technical assistance for those entities.
The BEMTS trauma program utilizes the Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient 2014 as the standard for trauma verification criteria. The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma are national experts in providing high quality trauma care and, as such, BETS utilizes guidance from the College to support the direction and substance of the statewide trauma program.
As a Trauma Program Manager you are a crucial part of the quality of trauma care injured patients receive in Iowa. The program that you build will be integral to ensuring optimal care is received by injured Iowans across the state. A critical aspect of your role is the continual analysis of trauma events at your facility, the creation of action plans, and ensuring event resolution, along with coordinating the re-verification process for your facility.
As a trauma program manager you have taken on great responsibility, but you are supported by entities across the state to help you be successful. We look forward to working with you to ensure the optimal care of injured patients in Iowa.
Jill Wheeler, RN BSN, CCRN, SCRN, TCRN
Trauma Program Director, Bureau of Emergency Medical and Trauma Services
Iowa Department of Health and Human Services
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319