For a new appointment, please call the CareLine at (717) 531-6955 or toll free at 1 (800) 243-1455
For a followup appointment with your physician, please call (717) 531-8887 or 1 (800) 292-3332 and select Option 7
Division of Trauma, Acute Care and Critical Care Surgery
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Drive
P.O. Box 850
Hershey, PA 17033-2390
Patients with surgical emergencies desiring state-of-the-art care should come - or request transport to - Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Emergency Department. We are here to meet your trauma, acute care, and surgical critical care needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Patients who are scheduling an elective consultation should call their health insurance provider prior to making an appointment with a Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center general surgeon in order to determine whether or not a formal referral from their primary-care physician is required. All medical records, test results and X-rays pertinent to the patient's condition should be forwarded prior to this first appointment. If appropriate, surgery will be scheduled following this consultation.
What does it take to be designated as a trauma center?
Full-time trauma surgeons, Emergency Department physicians, and hundreds of dedicated physicians, nurses, specialists, and technicians to cover 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Trauma Center designation also requires:
- Designated operating room(s)
- Designated trauma room(s)
- Trauma coordinator and registrar
- Trauma researchers
- Multiple medical and surgical specialists
- CT scan and invasive radiology
- Designated intensive care units (ICUs)
- Staff education
- Quality improvement programs
- Rehabilitation programs
- Community outreach, education, and prevention programs
Penn State Hershey Medical Center is designated a Level I Trauma Center.
What are the different trauma designations?
Level I - Provides definitive, 24-hour care for critically injured patients, conducts trauma-related research and is, therefore, usually university-based.
Level II - Provides definitive, 24-hour care for critically injured patients, has the option of pursuing research, and is usually awarded to full-service, community-based regional medical centers.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is defined as a bodily injury, wound or shock. Trauma affects more people than heart disease and cancer combined and is the leading cause of death among Americans under age 40. However, death does not have to be the end result of a major trauma injury. Since the development of dedicated Trauma Centers, the number of deaths and long term disabilities has significantly decreased.
What are the rates of trauma deaths in the country?
Trauma kills more people between the ages of 1 and 44 than any other disease or illness. Nearly 180,000 people of all ages in the United States die from trauma every year, roughly one quarter of them from automobile accidents. Tragically, however, it is our children and young adults who feel the greatest impact of trauma. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, trauma (unintentional injuries + homicides) causes: 43% of all deaths from age 1 to 4, 48% of all deaths in ages 5 to 14 , and 62% of all deaths in ages 15 to 24.
Trauma can strike at any time of the day. Each year, eight to nine million individuals suffer disabling injuries in the United States, with more than 3000,000 of the suffering permanent disabilities.
What is the anticipated time of recovery from trauma?
With all injuries, especially ones suffered from a trauma related incident, recovery time will vary. It is our goal that all patients get well enough to no longer need hospital care. Some patients will be discharged home with instructions to return for follow-up care. This is where the health team makes sure injuries are healing properly, as well as checking that the patient is adapting to life after the injury. Your nurses and doctors will discuss in detail about the amount of time you might need for recovery and physical therapy.
Acute Care Surgery
The acute care surgery practice meets the needs of those patients requiring emergency general surgery and provides surgery and follow-up to those patients as well as referral back to their home community physicians. Examples of types of acute care surgery include gall bladder surgery, removal of the appendix and emergency surgery to the blood vessels to restore circulation. Our team is composed of specially trained, acute care surgeons and other providers. A team member will provide care for you from the time of admission to the hospital, through your surgery to your discharge home. Prior to your discharge, a team member will help arrange for your follow-up surgical care either here at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Hospital in the clinic or with your local provider. Our goal is to get you back to your previous state of health in a safe and quick manner. That’s why we have a surgeon in the hospital and access to an operating room 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Should you require admission to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit after sustaining an injury or having major surgery, we have specially trained, critical care intensivists, fellows and other providers to meet your needs 24/7/365. Our 30 bed SICU is staffed with highly trained and dedicated health professionals to help you and your family get through this challenging time. Our care coordinators, social workers and pastoral care staff will assist you in making this as easy as possible and help you prepare for your transition to the floor and then back to your home. We provide physical therapy and occupational therapy onsite and can make referrals to outside rehabilitation facilities.
No one plans to be involved in a car crash or have emergency surgery. Information regarding your surgery and care is important for your recovery. Below are some common types of procedures that might bring you or your loved one to our Medical Center for emergency surgery. This list does not include all of the kinds of emergency surgery that can be performed at PSHMC. Also described are some types of procedures that may be required to facilitate your care while in the hospital.
Types of surgery
- Gallbladder surgery
- Abdominal exploration
- Intestinal obstruction
- Small bowel obstruction
- Spleen removal (splenectomy)
- Brain surgery for trauma (craniotomy)
Tests or treatments
- Diagnostic peritoneal lavage or DPL
- Gastrostomy tube placement
- Chest tube insertion
- Endotracheal intubation (breathing tube)
- Central lines