Emergency and Trauma Care

Trauma Services

We are proud to be the Virginia Peninsula’s only Level 2 Trauma Center. Every hour of every day, Riverside is here to provide advanced care in the most complex cases.

a group of firefighters performing a rescue

Advanced Care for the Most Complex Injuries

Riverside Regional Medical Center is a Level II Trauma Center, credentialed by the Virginia Department of Health based on standards developed by the American College of Surgeons (ACOS) and the American College of Emergency Physicians. (ACEP). Being a Level II Trauma Center means it is a hospital capable of providing specialized medical care to individuals suffering the most serious, traumatic injuries, such as those caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls, assaults or gun violence.

At a trauma center the emergency physicians, nurses and other staff are highly experienced in caring for medically complex patients. The hospital has the staff, technology, and other resources to care for them once stabilized, whether that is surgery or admission to the hospital.

In a trauma, patients often face multiple life-threatening or disabling injuries at the same time. That is why many different types of specialty physicians and surgeons are on call 24 hours a day to provide the care when needed. For example, caring for one trauma patient in a motor vehicle accident could require multiple specialties such as a trauma surgeon, neurosurgeon, vascular surgeon, or orthopedic surgeon.

Testimonial: Colby Walsh

Riverside is set up to support trauma patients through the immediate crisis, stabilization, recovery and rehabilitation. There are also comprehensive programs supporting patients through traumatic injuries, such as orthopedic traumas and spinal cord injuries.   

As part of being a Level II Trauma Center, the team at Riverside Regional Medical Center works closely with the first responders across the region, partnering with the Peninsula Medical Services Council (PEMS) and Tidewater Emergency Medical Services Council (TEMS) to provide education and collaborate, ensuring everyone’s protocols work together smoothly in an emergency. The first responders throughout the region are highly trained and work closely with the emergency department staff during transport to the hospital. Through tests and assessments done in the ambulance, they can help determine specific injuries faster, allowing the hospital to be better prepared to receive the patient and start treatment immediately.

As part of collaboration with local EMS, Riverside is a sponsoring partner of the Hampton Roads Trauma Symposium held every spring. This day-long event allows EMTs, paramedics, emergency department nurses, respiratory therapists, emergency physicians and other staff to come together to learn how to best care for patients from the scene of an accident all the way through discharge and recovery.

As part of the ongoing partnership with PEMS, TEMS, and area localities as well as Virginia and Federal Department of Emergency Management personnel, Riverside’s Trauma Program also takes part in ongoing disaster preparedness efforts across the region. Through these efforts, standardized disaster response structures and regular drills, the entire region works to always be ready to respond to a disaster or mass casualty event.

Some trauma patients require immediate transport from the scene of an accident or another hospital, and those patients are often served by a LifeEvac helicopter. Riverside is proud to partner with VCU Health System, Bon Secours and Mary Washington Healthcare, in conjunction with the Med-Trans Corporation, to provide air medical transport services to the region. There are multiple helicopters in the fleet stationed at three different bases in order to serve the critical care air support needs. As with all traumas, patients are transported to the most appropriate hospital in the region strictly based on the patient’s clinical needs.

Riverside Helicopter


a man inside the Riverside Helicopter

Riverside Regional Medical Center’s Trauma Program was honored to be one of 25 trauma centers across the nation selected to participate in the Military Civilian Partnership for Trauma-Readiness Grant, also called the Mission Zero Act. This program allows military physicians to work within the Riverside Trauma Team to receive additional or ongoing training in trauma care while also improving our nation’s ability to respond to medical emergencies here or abroad.
a trauma room

We’re here if you need us, but we would rather you stay safe

Riverside hopes you will never need its trauma services, and one of the best ways to do that is through safe driving practices. Riverside encourages everyone to wear a seatbelt at all times, to make sure infants and children are properly secured in appropriate child safety seats, and to wear helmets when on a motorcycle. Also, it is critical to drive without distractions from sleep deprivation, phones, alcohol or drugs.

While no one wants to need trauma services, rest assured knowing that Riverside’s Trauma Program is there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to care for people on their worst days.