Phone Call Helps Trauma Patients Headed to Hospital


Zachary Lutsky
Zachary Lutsky

Board certified in emergency medicine, Dr. Zachary Lutsky serves as an attending physician in the Emergency Department at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. With experience in areas ranging from treating strokes to gunshot wounds, Zachary Lutsky, MD, knows the importance of managing trauma patients on their way to the emergency room.

Following a severe accident, as a patient is rushed to the hospital, the emergency medical services (EMS) team prepares for effective treatment by calling ahead to alert the hospital about the patient’s need for immediate care. This call can save valuable time by preparing the emergency room staff members who can set up any needed equipment or prepare for a blood transfusion or other critical procedure.

The EMS team must communicate to the hospital important information such as the patient’s age and gender, how the trauma happened, and what the injuries appear to be. It will also share vital signs, including pulse and blood pressure, to provide further context for treatment.

Studies have shown the critical importance of this phone call for providing effective trauma care, even with minimal time before arrival at the hospital.

Wellness Strategies for Emergency Medicine Residents

Zachary Lutsky
Zachary Lutsky

Emergency medicine physician Dr. Zachary Lutsky spent over a decade working at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, one of the busiest Level 1 trauma centers in Los Angeles. Before joining the center, Dr. Zachary Lutsky completed his residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Residents working in emergency departments are at elevated risk of burnout. It is crucial that residency programs emphasize wellness strategies as part of the residency program.

Sleep — Residencies in emergency medicine often require long shifts and an irregular schedule, which can negatively impact circadian rhythms. Experts suggest staggering shifts from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. and 3 a.m. to 12 p.m., rather than scheduling residents to work through the night.

Stress Management — Residents must build up resilience to handle the stressful circumstances they work under. To support residents, the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) set up the online resource Medical Student Well-Being to help students create a personal wellness plan.

Balance — Separation between work and home life is essential to preventing burnout. Residents should spend at least one hour a day focusing on non-work-or-school-related activities and set aside time to be with family and friends.