Acute Care Surgery
Acute care surgery is a relatively new surgical field that incorporates training in surgical critical care, trauma surgery, and emergency general surgery to urgently assess and treat patients with general surgical emergencies. Most emergencies that require an acute care surgeon are abdominal conditions including, but not limited to, acute appendicitis, cholecystitis, diverticulitis, pancreatitis, intestinal obstruction, intestinal ischemia, intra-abdominal sepsis, incarcerated hernias and perforated internal organs.
Many of these patients have an acute or imminent need for surgical intervention. In addition, patients who require surgery to treat one condition may also have another chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension or a history of massive bleeding. These patients require a hospital with a Surgical ICU that ensures an advanced level of 24/7 observation before, during and after their procedure.
In addition to his other surgical responsibilities, Dr. Steven Johnson of Capital Health Surgical Group is the director of Surgical Critical Care at Capital Health. He leads the new Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell, which is the first of its kind at any hospital in the greater Mercer/Bucks region.
The advantage to a specialized unit—such as the one at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell—is that a surgeon trained in acute care surgery is available at all times. These types of surgeons are known as surgical intensivists. Perioperative services would be offered to surgeons and their patients from across most medical fields, including urology, orthopedics, ENT (ear, nose and throat), plastics, general surgery, OB/GYN and maternal-fetal medicine, laparoscopic and bariatric surgery, surgical oncology, trauma, and endocrine surgery, just to name a few.