Trauma Care

When a tragedy happens, immediate, expert care can make all the difference in a child’s recovery. UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is home to the nationally recognized Benedum Pediatric Trauma Program which is led by a multidisciplinary team of trauma surgeons and specialists to provide immediate evaluation, consultation and care.

Benedum Pediatric Trauma Program

Children’s Benedum Pediatric Trauma Program offers the highest level of care and is certified as a Level I (highest classification) Pediatric Trauma Hospital by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundations. It’s one of only three in the entire state, and the only to achieve this status in western Pennsylvania.

Higher Survival Rates

The difference in care at a pediatric trauma center can improve the overall outcome and increase survival rate, compared to care at adult trauma hospitals. More than 98 percent of the children admitted to Children’s through the Trauma Program return home with the ability to lead normal lives. From transport through follow-up, only Children’s Benedum Pediatric Trauma Program provides child-centered care from pediatric surgeons and health-care professionals committed to cutting-edge research and procedures.

Trauma is any injury to the body. It may be from a motor vehicle accident, a fall, a sports collision, accidental poisoning, skiing, biking, rollerblading or any impact, accident, or injury. When a child is injured, emergency responders from Children’s Benedum Trauma Program react quickly to stabilize the child for transport to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Children’s rooftop is one of the busiest medical helipads in the country.

Whether brought in by family vehicle, ambulance or helicopter, an injured infant, child or adolescent who arrives at Children’s Emergency Department is treated by a team of pediatric specialists who are always prepared in trauma rooms ready with the most technologically advanced equipment.

Multidisciplinary Approach

Quality care is provided by a multi-disciplinary team of pediatric-specialized medical providers. From the paramedics to the trauma surgeons to the nurses, each team member has a child-centered philosophy of care incomparable to adult medical facilities. Research shows that children 16 years and younger treated at a pediatric trauma center for severe injuries are much more likely to have better overall outcomes and higher survival rates than those treated at adult hospitals.

Children’s Benedum Trauma Program is one of only three Level 1 pediatric trauma centers accredited by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation. Level 1 is the highest level of surgical care. In order to be recognized as such, Children’s accommodates a number of pediatric surgeons, anesthesiologists and specialized surgeons on-duty 24-hours a day, as well as a recognized research program and educational outreach and prevention programs. Children’s has been nationally distinguished for outstanding research and ongoing education since 1986.

After initial treatment in a trauma emergency room, a child will require follow-up care. The PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit), the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), and the CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit) also provide the highest level (Level III) of care. Dentist, neurosurgeons, ophthalmologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, plastic surgeons, radiologist and urologists are available for immediate evaluation, consultation and care. A Child Life specialist offers emotional support, while a social worker keeps the family informed.