Motor vehicle collision, stroke, aortic aneurysm, cerebral aneurysm, and fall are but a few of the things none of us think about as we awaken and prepare for our day. When the unexpected does occur, it is of the utmost importance the evaluating physician has rapid access to accurate information stratifying the injuries and/or illnesses for which their patients are presenting.
This is the realm of the section of Emergency Radiology. Our section is responsible for the coverage of the only Level I Trauma Center in the State of Mississippi, the only Children’s Hospital within the state, as well as several other referring facilities across the state.
In this role, the radiology residents can learn to improve efficiency, hone communication skills with referring care teams, and have a taste of independence not otherwise experienced within the residency. It is a busy and sometimes stressful environment that prepares the resident for “real world” experiences. CT, ultrasound, and conventional radiography are the primary modalities covered.
As the youngest section within the Department of Radiology, our growth has been rapid, but our vision remains focused. Provide the best care for the residents of Mississippi and any others who find themselves in harm’s way.
Emergency radiologists at UMMC work evening and overnight shifts, which, when combined with the emergency imaging coverage provided during the day by various radiology subspecialists, completes a 24-hour cycle of continuous, in-house, faculty radiologist coverage for emergency imaging studies.
This continuous 24-hour coverage is provided every day and night of the year, including weekends and holidays. Although relatively new to UMMC, the emergency radiology service has been embraced by, and continues to enjoys tremendous support from, emergency medicine, pediatric emergency medicine, hospital administration and the trauma program (UMMC is Mississippi's only Level I trauma center).
Our clinical responsibilities extend to inpatient emergency imaging studies as well as those obtained on patients in RapidTrack Minor Care, and adult or pediatric emergency departments (UMMC has the state's only childrens' hospital, with a high-volume pediatric emergency room).
By also providing these services to UMMC-owned or affiliated facilities, such as Select Specialty Hospital of Jackson, University Hospital and Clinics - Holmes County in Lexington, MS, and Simpson General Hospital in Mendenhall, MS, emergency radiology contributes to the care of long-term care patients in Jackson and inpatients and emergency room patients in rural Mississippi.
We not only provide interpretations, but are also available for consultation to help optimize imaging work-ups. Furthermore, when patients are transferred to UMMC from other healthcare facilities, we can often provide confirmatory interpretations on imaging studies accompanying the patients from the referring facilities. This helps our patients avoid the cost, inconvenience, and additional radiation exposure of undergoing immediate repeat CT scans or radiographs.
As part of our commitment to consultation and to active and proactive participation in the care of emergency department patients, a new reading room and consultation center (with adjoining CT and radiography suites), is being built directly in the main campus emergency department. Thus, our emergency radiologists will be only a few steps away from the most critically ill and injured emergency department patients, and from the emergency department physicians and trauma surgeons caring for these patients.
The emergency radiology section contributes to the life of the medical center and regional medical community in many other ways, too. Members of the emergency radiology faculty have on-going, formalized roles in the education of medical students and radiology and emergency medicine residents. An emergency radiologist sits on the Medical Center curriculum committee and serves as faculty sponsor for a medical student group. We also participate in the administration of the emergency department, UMMC Trauma Program, and the Central Mississippi Trauma Region. Finally, members of the emergency radiology faculty have given presentations at the annual, regional Southern Radiological Conference.