As a busy level I trauma center, Scripps Mercy Hospital has the robust clinical basis necessary to conduct effective research. The Trauma Research program focuses on the evaluation, resuscitation and management of critically injured patients. The realm of research covers both an analysis of the center’s own experience in trauma care as well as collaboration in national multi-center studies. Surgical and emergency medicine residents are actively involved in trauma research activities. Research drives improvements in patient care and outcomes in Scripps Mercy’s Trauma Service program.
Studies recently conducted at Scripps Mercy by the Trauma Research team include the advanced radiologic imaging for central nervous system trauma, management of chest injuries, early airway management following injury, and alcohol and drug use as root causes of injury. Through scientific presentations and publications, Scripps Mercy Hospital is nationally known for its evidence-based advances in these important areas.
Scripps Mercy’s Trauma Service is a major contributor in multi-center studies, including the trial of blood substitutes and hypertonic saline in resuscitating critically injured patients. The research program participates in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Crash Injury Research Engineering Network study of the impact of vehicle crash dynamics on occupant injuries. It also contributes data to the National Trauma Data Bank, a national resource for research.
The Trauma Research program’s clinical research clerkship program provides hands-on experience for selected pre-med students. These future physicians learn how to critically review the medical literature, analyze data, prepare research abstracts, author manuscripts and present study findings at national scientific meetings. Their experience enriches their application to medical school and helps create the clinical researchers of the future.
Future directions for the Trauma Research program include bringing home the lessons from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan to civilian trauma centers, analyzing practice guidelines for the treatment of traumatic brain injury and improving the management of hemorrhagic shock.