What is Trauma?
Trauma is a serious injury or shock
to the body. It is caused by a physical force such as violence or an accident. The injury may be complicated by psychiatric, behavioral, and social factors.
It is critical to have an entire team immediately available to provide care to an injured patient 24-hours a day. This teamwork starts at the scene of the injury where a coordinated, statewide pre-hospital medical system rapidly transports the injured patient from the scene to the hospital providing the appropriate level of care according to criteria established in the statewide trauma regulations. Once at the hospital, a complete team of surgeons, emergency physicians and nurses continue the life-saving treatment.
This team approach to care of the injured patient has had a dramatic impact on saving lives.
Minimally Invasive Procedures for Massive Bleeding
Injuries take many forms. The most advanced hospitals can treat injuries with a variety of approaches that involve well-known ones, like surgery, and newer ones where minimally invasive procedures can replace some surgeries.
As a Level 1 Trauma Center, Hartford Hospital has Interventional Radiologists as part of the Trauma Team. They perform procedures such as "embolization" which is a recognized interventional radiology technique that is used to treat trauma patients with massive bleeding.
Click here to see some of the advanced interventional techniques available at Hartford Hospital.
Learn more about trauma
, or search below to learn about other health conditions.
| Reasons for Test
| Possible Complications
| What to Expect
| Call Your Doctor
An echocardiogram uses sound waves called ultrasound to look at the size, shape, and motion of the heart.
The test shows:
- Four chambers of the heart
- Heart valves and the walls of the heart
- Blood vessels entering and leaving the heart
- The sac that surrounds the heart
The Heart Sac
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
In addition to this standard test, there are specialized echocardiograms:
- Contrast echocardiogram—A solution is injected into the vein and can be seen in the heart.
Stress echocardiogram—This records the heart's activity during a
cardiac stress test.
Doppler ultrasound—This helps your doctor assess blood flow.
- Transesophageal echocardiogram—To provide clear images of the heart, the ultrasound device is put down your throat. Your doctor may need to use this test depending on what part of the heart needs to be viewed.
If you have the following conditions, you may need this test, rather than the standard echocardiogram:
Reasons for Test
An echocardiogram may be used to:
- Diagnose valve conditions
- Find changes in the heart's structure
Assess motion of the chamber walls and damage to the heart muscle after a
- Assess how different parts of the heart work in people with chronic heart disease
- Determine if fluid is collecting around the heart
- Identify growths in the heart
- Assess and monitor birth defects
- Test blood flow through the heart
- Assess heart or major blood vessel damage caused by trauma
- Test heart function and diagnose heart and lung problems in very ill patients
- Assess chest pain
- Look for blood clots within heart chambers
There are no major complications associated with this test.
What to Expect
Your doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam
- Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG)—a test that records the heart's activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle
A gel is put on your chest. This gel helps the sound waves travel. A small, hand-held device called a transducer is pressed against your skin. The transducer sends sound waves toward your heart. The sound waves are then reflected back to the device. The waves are converted into electrical impulses. These impulses become an image on the screen.
Still images or videotape moving images can be captured. To get clearer and more complete images, the transducer may be moved to different areas of your chest. You may be asked to change positions and slowly inhale, exhale, or hold your breath.
The gel is wiped from your chest.
The images are analyzed. Based on the findings, your doctor may recommend treatment or further testing.
Call Your Doctor
After the test, call your doctor if you have worsening heart-related symptoms.
Huttemann E. Transoesophageal echocardiography in critical care.
Minerva Anestesiol. 2006;72:891-913.
Sanderson JE, Chan WW. Transoesophageal echocardiography.
Postgrad Med J. 1997;73:137-140.
What is echocardiography? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/echo/echo_whatis.html. Updated October 31, 2011. Accessed March 5, 2013.
Who needs echocardiography? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/echo/whoneeds.html. Updated October 31, 2011. Accessed March 5, 2013.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Michael J. Fucci, DO
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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