Trauma remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity for individuals younger than 40 years of age. Organized trauma systems with specialized centers devoted to the evaluation and treatment of trauma are effective in reducing rates of death and disability associated with injury.
The University of Kentucky Hospital trauma program is an American College of Surgeons accredited Level I Trauma Center. UK Hospital Trauma Center is one of only three Level I centers serving the needs of Kentuckians. It is the only center providing tertiary trauma care for Central and Southeastern Kentucky. The hospital serves as the regional referral center for the 49 Appalachian counties comprising eastern Kentucky as well as the 11 non-Appalachian counties surrounding Fayette County. The terrain serviced is largely mountainous and rugged, occupying approximately 20,000 square miles with a population base of 1.4 million. Five hospital-based ALS air medical services are available in the area for inter-facility transport. The trauma service evaluates close to 3000 trauma patients per year with 2200 trauma related admissions. Despite increasing financial pressure, UK Hospital Trauma Center is committed to providing timely, excellent and cost-effective care for patients with complex, multi-system trauma or single-system trauma requiring specialized surgical services.
UK provides residents unique opportunities to gain exposure and expertise in situations of both urban and rural trauma care. This comprehensive approach to trauma care and surgical critical care provides outstanding research and educational opportunities for residents interested in a career in trauma surgery or surgical critical care.
The Department of Surgery has more than 12,000 square feet of dedicated laboratory research space occupied by eight full-time research faculty members and 30 clinical faculty members who currently are conducting basic and/or clinical research.
In addition to the active basic science and clinical programs, the hospital supports injury prevention programs throughout the state, ongoing research opportunities in both the basic and clinical sciences, and continuing medical education programs for Advanced Trauma Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. The surgical critical care service provides consultative services for surgical patients in the intensive care units, giving experience in hemodynamic monitoring, ventilator management, nutritional support, sepsis, and organ failure. Residents rotate on the Trauma and Acute Care Surgery service during all years of training. The section is actively involved in cardiogenic, hemorrhagic, and septic shock research, investigation of L-arginine metabolism after trauma, and lymphatic function in shock states. The section has received ACGME approval for a surgical critical care fellowship.