Use a trauma pack’ to improve care

Have you ever had to leave a trauma patient’s side to obtain needed supplies? At University of Utah Hospital Clinics in Salt Lake City, a "trauma pack" is used to keep the trauma nurse in the trauma bay with the patient.

"This is a fanny pack that is kept in our automated medication dispenser and checked out when the trauma call is activated," says Denna Collier, MS, APRN, clinical educator for the ED.

The pack contains 1 gram ancef, 1 vial of paralytics, syringes, and appropriate dilutent for the medications. The pack also has a small pocket that nurses use to carry two 10 mg vials of morphine and two 10 mg vials of midazolam.

"This covers most of the immediate medication needs of the trauma patient," says Collier.

The ED recently moved to a new facility with small automated medication dispensers in the trauma bay, but the nurses still like to use the packs because they don’t have to leave the bedside and the medications are available when they are in the radiology department, notes Collier.

After the initial resuscitation is completed, the ED nurse returns or wastes unused narcotics and sends the pack to pharmacy to be restocked.

"Having the trauma pack saves time and multiple steps for the nurse," says Collier. "The staff doesn’t know how they survived before the implementation of the trauma pack."

[Editor’s note: For more information, contact Denna Collier, MS, APRN, Clinical Educator, Emergency Department, University of Utah Hospital Clinics, 50 N. Medical Drive, Room 1721, Salt Lake City, UT 84132. Telephone: (801) 587-3838. E-mail:]