General Questions

Am I allowed to visit my loved one?

Families are encouraged to visit their loved ones while they are in the hospital. You my visit patients in the ICU anytime except 7-8:30 am and 7-8:30 pm Medical/surgical unit visiting hours vary by unit. Call 717-544-5511 to learn the visiting hours of a specific floor.

We strongly believe family involvement in the care of an injured loved one makes a difference in their ultimate outcome. You should expect to be in communication with the physician and/or the nurses on a daily basis for updates on how your loved one is doing and plans for their care

How long will I stay?

Your stay at will vary depending on the severity of your injuries. Patients may be admitted to the Trauma Service for observation because of potentially life-threatening injuries that resolve quickly. Other patients with severe injuries may require a prolonged hospitalization, either on the medical/surgical floor or in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

How will my care progress?

Most patients cared for by the Trauma Service come into the hospital through the emergency department and are evaluated in the trauma bay. Depending on the nature of their injuries, patients may go directly to the operating room, the ICU, or the medical/surgical unit. Many patients require a period of close observation and monitoring in the ICU before being moved to the medical/surgical unit, and then, discharged to their home or a rehabilitation center.

What is the difference between the ICU and medical/surgical unit?

The most sick or injured patients are cared for in the ICU where each patient a personal nurse with specialized training. Advanced monitoring techniques ensure their safety and stability. The medical surgical unit provides less intense care. Patients whose conditions have stabilized and may be approaching the rehab phase of care are placed on the medical/surgical floor.

If my child is injured, where will he go?

Lancaster General Hospital is not a pediatric trauma center; however, we do care for specific types of pediatric injuries that are not multi-system and will not require a pediatric intensive care unit.

  • Concussions
  • Isolated orthopedic injuries (such as broken bones/fractures)

Children with severe life or limb-threatening injuries or potentially life or limb-threatening injuries are transferred to a specialized pediatric trauma center.

What does Level I mean?

There are specific levels of trauma centers within the Pennsylvania State Trauma Foundation’s accreditation.

  • Level I trauma centers provide multidisciplinary treatment and specialized resources for trauma patients and require trauma research, a surgical residency program and an annual volume of 600 major trauma patients per year.

What is the trauma bay?

The trauma bay is a specific part of the emergency department designated for resuscitation of a major trauma victim. If you or your loved one is seriously injured, your care at the hospital will begin in the trauma bay where equipment and personnel are immediately available to provide life-saving care.

What is a trauma?

A trauma is any kind of accidental or intentional injury. Minor traumas can be managed on an outpatient basis either at an urgent care facility or the emergency department. More severe injuries sustained from incidents like car accidents, gunshots, or stabbings are managed primarily by the Lancaster General Hospital’s Trauma Service.

Where will I go when discharged?

When you are discharged you will go to one of three places. Most commonly, patients return to their home. Some patients are discharged to an extended care facility. Others may require a brief period of rehabilitation. Lancaster General Hospital is associated with Lancaster Rehabilitation Hospital.

Who do I talk to if I want to find out the condition of my loved one?

Most of the time, the bedside nurse will have the most up-to-date information about your loved one’s condition. The trauma surgeon or advanced practitioner will be able to communicate specific aspects of their surgical or trauma care.

Who will care for me?

While in the hospital, you will be cared for by:

  • Trauma surgeons
  • Advanced practitioners
  • Case managers

In the emergency department, the trauma surgeons are frequently assisted by emergency medicine physicians who have a special background in trauma care. Several subspecialty services frequently consult for specific injuries.

  • Orthopedic surgeons from the Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster, who have advanced training and expertise specifically in trauma care
  • Neurosurgeons from Lancaster NeuroScience and Spine Associates, who have advanced training and expertise in neurosurgery
  • Geriatricians for injured patients 65 years of age and older
  • Pediatric hospitalists occasionally consult. However, for patients in the pediatric age group, only specific types of injuries are managed at Lancaster General Hospital.
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