Trauma Activation Injury AttorneyHospitals and emergency services use trauma protocols to assess patients and determine what level of care they should receive.

The protocols help first responders, emergency services, and emergency room staff identify whether to activate the trauma team.

Unfortunately, medical staff can sometimes not follow the protocols, resulting in injury to innocent victims.

If you think you have been injured because of a trauma team activation mistake, you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Trauma Team Activation Criteria

Kern County’s Trauma Triage Criteria provide a model for what responders will look for when assessing whether a patient needs trauma care. The protocol consists of four steps:

Step 1: Measure vital signs and the patient’s level of consciousness. The medical provider will be assessed on the Glasgow Coma Scale, respiratory rate, and systolic blood pressure. If it meets these criteria, then the Trauma System is activated. If not, then the provider moves to step 2.

Step 2. The provider assesses the injury. The trauma system will be activated for the following:

  • Flail chest
  • Pelvic fractures
  • Two or more proximal long-bone fractures
  • Paralysis
  • Amputation proximal to ankle and wrist
  • An extremity injury that is time-sensitive with vascular compromise
  • Skull fractures
  • Injuries that penetrate the neck, head, torso, chest, or areas proximal to elbow or knee

Step 3. At this step, the provider will analyze how the patient was injured and will consider activating the trauma system or consult for the following:

  • Motorcycle crash at moderate or high speeds
  • Falls from certain heights, depending on the patient’s age
  • Ejection from an automobile
  • Death in the same passenger compartment
  • High-speed car crash
  • Any intrusion into the passenger compartment
  • Pedestrian or bicycle collision with a car that results in being thrown or run over

Step 4. At this step, the provider will analyze whether to consider a trauma consult based on certain factors, such as the patient’s age and whether they are pregnant or have a bleeding disorder.

First responders and medical providers can also “deactivate” trauma care if the circumstances warrant. However, erroneous deactivation can also cause injuries.

Injuries from Faulty Trauma Activation

Unsurprisingly, many patients die or suffer grave injuries if medical providers make a mistake in their analysis of whether to activate trauma care. Carelessness, or lack of familiarity with the trauma protocol, are often to blame. As a result, patients suffer needless injuries and in some cases can die.

Fortunately, victims and surviving family members can bring lawsuits to hold negligent medical providers accountable for their mistakes. If successful, plaintiffs can receive compensation for various injuries, such as lost wages, medical care, and pain and suffering.

Types of injuries handled by a trauma activation injury attorney

Trauma activation injury attorneys handle a wide range of injuries resulting from accidents and other traumatic events. Some of the most common injuries they handle include:

  • Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Burns and abrasions
  • Internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding
  • Emotional trauma, such as PTSD or anxiety disorders

Speak with a Trauma Team Activation Lawyer in California.

If you suspect a hospital or other medical provider failed to activate trauma care in the proper manner, you should meet with an attorney immediately. At GJEL, our lawyers have helped hundreds of victims over the past 45+ years receive the compensation they deserve and hold medical professionals accountable for their mistakes. Please contact us today.

Written by Andy Gillin. Last Updated 03/14/2023