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Navigating MyCare
for traumatic injuries

Each patient’s trauma care stay is slightly different because no two patients’ injuries are the same. The doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals in each part of the hospital have different specialized training and skills. Our goal is to make sure you get the right care for the different parts of your recovery.

Your care pathway

  • Arriving at Sunnybrook

    Information about care received in the emergency department and in our trauma bay, as well as tips for coping with a traumatic injury.

  • Surgery and the operating room

    Information and details about surgery for those patients who may require one or more surgeries.

  • During your stay

    About the units where trauma patients are cared for, and the teams that care for them.

  • Leaving Sunnybrook

    Information about your transition plan for when it’s time to leave Sunnybrook.


Arriving at Sunnybrook

The Emergency Department (ED)

It is likely that you or your loved one arrived at Sunnybrook's Emergency Department (ED) by ambulance or a medical helicopter. Once in the ED, patients are immediately assessed in the trauma bay, which is a special part of the emergency department used only for the care of trauma patients.

The trauma bay

Care in the trauma bay includes blood tests, x-rays, CT scans, pain management and, for some patients, emergency life-saving procedures.

After the patient’s injuries are found, the trauma team leader works with other doctors in the hospital to decide the best care plan.

The most serious and significant injuries are typically the first to be identified in the trauma bay.

Other less serious injuries may be identified over the next few days following your admission.

Coping with a traumatic injury

A sudden traumatic injury is usually overwhelming and frightening for patients and families, and it's important for you to realize that there is no one “standard” reaction to this stress. There are, however, some common responses that you may experience physically, emotionally and behaviourally.

Learn more about these responses, and get tips for coping and seeking support


Surgery and the Operating Room

Factors for surgery

After an injury, some patients will require surgery, while others will not. There are many factors that your doctors will consider when deciding whether you will need surgery.

  • Some patients will need immediate surgery for a life-threatening problem as soon as they arrive in the trauma bay. These patients will go straight to the operating room from the emergency department. Other patients who are more stable may have surgery later in their hospital stay.
  • In patients with more than one injury, the doctors will work together to decide which injuries must be treated right away, and which should be treated at a later date. Some patients will have multiple surgeries during their hospital stay.

During your stay

Where you'll be cared for, and who will care for you

During your stay at Sunnybrook, you may move back and forth between units depending on your medical needs. Surgery may take place at any time during your hospital stay.

In this section, learn more about the units you or your loved one may be cared in, and about the team members that may provide care.

Critical Care Unit (CrCu)

Patients in the most critical condition are admitted to the Critical Care Unit (CrCU).

Care in CrCU includes:

    • Special monitors that check oxygen, heart rate and blood pressure
    • Machines that can provide life support
    • Life-saving medications needed by the patient

Location: M-Wing, 2nd Floor (M2)
Phone: 416-480-4196

B5 Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Intensive-Care Units (ICUs) are designed for the care of patients with severe injuries. Some patients are well enough to not need ICU admission, and go directly to a specialized trauma ward.

Location: B-Wing, 5th Floor (B5)
Phone: 416-480-4189

More information at sunnybrook.ca/navigatingtheICU

C5: Specialized trauma ward

Patients no longer require critical or intensive care, but still need the attention of the trauma team.

Location: C-Wing, 5th Floor (C5)
Phone: 416-480-4187

View more information about trauma patient care units

Your care team

Many hospital staff will look after you while you are in the hospital. Different patients will need different types of care, depending on their medical needs.

View a list of the health-care workers you may meet or hear about


Leaving Sunnybrook

About your hospital discharge

There will come a time when you no longer need special trauma care at Sunnybrook and will be ready to leave this hospital. This process is called being “discharged.” When it comes time for discharge, there are a few options as to where you may go, depending on your individual needs that this section will walk you through.


Many people recover best in their own home. However, some people will still need special equipment, nursing care or therapy.

Hospital closer to home

When your Sunnybrook doctors decide that you no longer need specialized trauma care, you may be transferred back to the hospital in your home area for your care to continue.

Repatriation back to community hospital

Patients are sometimes transferred to Sunnybrook for specialized trauma care that their community hospital cannot provide. Once a patient no longer requires specialized care at Sunnybrook, they will be repatriated back to their original hospital.

Learn more about repatriation

Rehabilitation hospital

If you need intensive therapy for your injuries that cannot be done at your home, the right plan for you might be to move to a rehabilitation or “rehab” hospital.

Complex continuing care hospital

A complex continuing care hospital (CCC) can help to take care of ongoing medical needs such as tracheostomy care, a PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) tube for feeding, or major wound care. There is some therapy at a CCC, but the focus is not rehabilitation.

Hydrotherapy room

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