Level I Adult & Level I Pediatric Trauma Center

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Frequently asked questions

Shouldn’t I feel better every day?

Getting well is hard work. Each day your body will be healing but you won’t necessarily feel progressively better. You may have two days of feeling good and then feel poorly for one day. This is normal, and over a period of time your good days will outnumber your poor days.

When can I go back to work or school? 

Returning to work or school will depend on your injuries and the type of work you do. Your physician or trauma nurse clinician will discuss this with you during your hospital stay. When you are discharged from the hospital, you will be given an “off of work/school” slip. When you return for your clinic follow-up appointment, this can be modified or extended as needed. Feel free to discuss this with your physician.

Can I give blood to my loved ones? 

Most trauma patients in need of a blood transfusion are not in a position to choose their donors. If you know your family member has a scheduled surgery at least three working days in advance, directed donation is an option.

The Red Cross recommends that donors be selected among family and friends of the patient. Relatives or friends may donate if they:

  • Have the same blood type as the patient.
  • Are at least 17 years of age.
  • Are in good health.
  • Meet minimum weight requirements.
  • Meet all other FDA and Red Cross donor eligibility requirements.

It is important to remember that often times you cannot choose your own blood donors. For these times, you can count on the Red Cross to provide a safe, reliable blood supply. (American Red Cross, 1996 ARC, North Central Region #2583)

Can I follow up with my primary doctor?

We certainly encourage anyone who wants to follow up with his or her primary care physician to do so. When you are initially admitted to Regions Hospital, we routinely send a letter to your primary care physician explaining your injuries and a brief plan of care. Also, after your discharge, we will send your primary care physician a copy of the summary of your hospitalization.

If you would like to follow up with your primary care physician, please let the trauma nurse clinician or a Regions Hospital physician know, and we will be happy to call your primary care physician with an update on your condition.

However, if you had surgery, the trauma physicians prefer that you follow up at least once in our Trauma Acute Care Surgery Clinic prior to following up with your own primary care physician.

Why do I have to cough & move when I’m in pain?

Deep breathing, coughing and moving are important for all patients following any type of trauma or surgery. Deep breathing expands the lungs, aids circulation and helps prevent pneumonia. Walking wakes up all of your systems, helping your body functions get back to normal. The first time you try to walk or cough, it may hurt. As you continue the activity, the pain will lessen. Be sure to have help the first time you get up out of bed and when you begin walking.