Legal Blog

Hospital hallway

Levels of Care at a Hospital and How They Indicate Severity of Injury

Attorney David I. Fuchs

Author

Attorney David I. Fuchs

Date

Dec. 18, 2020

Category

Personal Injury

When you go to the hospital after an accident, they will quickly assess your injury level and treat you appropriately. The hospital has many different departments where they offer various levels of treatment depending on need.

If you were hurt in an accident, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Don’t handle the stress alone. Contact David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. at (954) 568-3636 or use our online contact form to reach out.

Emergency Room

The first place you’ll likely end up after an accident is the emergency room. This is a place where doctors and nurses will assess your trauma and determine how much ongoing care you will need. They will evaluate the severity of your injuries and conduct additional tests like x-rays, MRIs, CAT scans, and other imaging.

Emergency departments often treat patients by severity level instead of on a first-come basis. Thus, the more severe your injuries, the quicker you will be seen.

ER care is often called “acute care” because it is an intensive level of care during which patients are treated for a brief but severe episode of their injury or illness.

If you are severely injured and need medical treatment while you recover, the ER may admit you to the hospital. Otherwise, you will be released with instructions to follow up with your primary care physician and other specialists.

Trauma Unit

Trauma Centers often have special units that treat patients who have suffered traumatic injuries, like those that are common in car wrecks and other accidents. They typically have a general surgeon and other specialists on staff and may even offer plastic surgery. Their goal would be to quickly treat acute severe injuries and then move patients into the general hospital population or release them to go home with instructions to follow up with their doctors.

Burn Center

If you suffer burns in an accident, you will likely be taken to a hospital with a burn center. The specialists in this unit have the knowledge to promote burn healing and reduce scarring. Some burns can be severe and affect a large part of the body. The more serious your burn, the longer you will have to stay at the hospital.

Intensive Care Unit

Another type of acute care where hospital medical providers offer intense treatment is the ICU. The ICU is used for patients who need 24/7 monitoring, and their condition is not yet considered stable. People do not usually stay in the ICU for long periods of time. The ICU’s goal is to get you into stable condition so you can be released to a regular treatment floor.

The ICU may also be called a critical care unit. Some specific kinds include neonatal intensive care units, pediatric intensive care units, and surgical intensive care units.

Specialty Care Units

If you go to the hospital with injuries that need to be treated by specialists, then you may need to be in a specialty care unit. Specialty care units may treat patients with cancer, heart conditions, or those who are pregnant. They are not usually acute care sections of the hospital but can still offer some of those services when necessary.

Non-Intensive Care Units

These units are often called “wards.” They make up the majority of beds in a hospital. They provide non-acute or transitional care. They may even offer long-term care for patients who need to recover for several weeks after an accident.

Although your injuries will not be life-threatening once you make it to the non-intensive care unit, the fact that you have to stay overnight at a hospital indicates that you were seriously hurt in the first place. You should follow doctors’ orders and do what is necessary to recover.

Attorney David I. Fuchs Can Help You With a Claim

If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else and had to go to the hospital, you will likely wonder how to cover those bills. We can help by evaluating your case and helping you file an insurance claim or submit a lawsuit against the person at fault. Call attorney David I. Fuchs today at (954) 568-3636 or use our online contact form.