Site：The Department of Emergency Medicine
The Department of Emergency Medicine, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, has been an independent entity in this hospital since 1982. Our department is one of several Level I resuscitation hospitals evaluated and certified by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. We are responsible for emergency services needed by critically ill and injured patients in central Taiwan. There are four divisions and one task force, including the Divisions of Emergency Medicine, Traumatology, Clinical Toxicology, and Occupation Medicine, along with the task force of Disaster Medicine affiliated with the Emergency Medical Operation Center (EMOC), Taichung Branch.
Medical services: There are 18 emergency medicine board-certified attending physicians in this division who provide full-time fast, safe, and efficient emergency medical management. We also organize hospital-wide integrated teams for emergency patients with acute ischemic stroke, acute coronary syndrome/myocardial infarct, and severe sepsis. This division handles approximately two-thirds of the ED visits. The Division of Emergency Medicine is responsible for a training program for residency in Emergency Medicine specialty, and has earned the highest ranking of training quality certification during the annual evaluation of training programs performed by The Taiwan Society of Emergency Medicine.
The Division of Traumatology provides 24-hour prompt and effective emergency care for trauma patients. We have organized a high-quality trauma system to save those patients sustaining major trauma, so they can receive the best care during the limited time span during resuscitation efforts.
Our hospital built a specialized operating room for trauma and neurosurgical patients in the emergency building in Oct.ober 2009. This facility is equipped with an image-guided operation system, under which heart surgery and minimally invasive neurosurgery emergency surgery can be carried out. Intensive care units are also available on the same floor, in order to provide integrated care for patients with major trauma and neurosurgical emergencies.
The Division of Clinical Toxicology was established in 1998. Professional toxicologists are available to provide consultations in cases involving poisonings, while also helping to provide information about clinical management of poisoned patients. As the poison control center in central Taiwan is recognized by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, we have a standard clinical laboratory and toxicologists specialized in clinical toxicological diagnosis and management, including the treatment of snake bites, pesticide and heavy metal poisoning.
The Division carries out the following major tasks:
Clinical Service: To take care of poisoned patients in the Department of Emergency Medicine, provide toxicological consultation and counseling, and follow-up on poisoned patients through toxicology/occupational combined medical clinics.
Teaching: To provide monthly lectures on clinical toxicology for PGY residents, hold training courses on Acute Poisoning Life Support (APLS), and practice of chemical toxicological disaster relief for emergency residents, in order to enhance their ability to deal with poisoned patients.
Study: To publish toxicology relevant papers, and conduct institutional research projects in cooperation with other universities.
Laboratory: To provide the only public clinical toxicology laboratory in central Taiwan, including basic drug screening, drug abuse screening, pesticide (organophosphate and paraquat), organic solvents, heavy metals, cyanide and other specialized toxic tests. Our laboratory has passed the accreditation of TAF ISO 15189, and we continuously improve our laboratory quality in order to provide even better services.
Social Responsibility: To assist during investigations of major poisoning occurances and their victims, including chemical explosion accidents, poison-related consultation and identification whenever required by the court. We also help to organize and integrate the practice of chemical toxicological disaster relief, in order to enhance our capabilities when responding to emergency disasters in communities.
The Division of Occupational Medicine is a team composed of a chief physician, attending physicians, resident physicians, a case manager and industrial hygienists. We have invited relevant specialists and established "a service team of interdisciplinary integration for occupational injuries," and take responsibility for the following tasks:
Clinical Service: We provide (1) diagnosis of occupational injuries, (2) information on the prevention of occupational injuries, (3) promotion of occupational health physical checkups, (4) health services and health risk assessment of the workplace, (5) diagnosis of occupational injuries and referrals for occupational rehabilitation, (6) referrals from other subspecialties, (7) functional assessment for returning to work , (8) consultation on insurance compensation, (9) guidance for the affected workers to take care of their health, and (10) identification and referrals on the disabilities stemming from occupational injuries.
Teaching: We have a training program for occupational medicine, with specialists available to give lectures, provide training in outpatient clinics for occupational diseases, and plant visits to help in the establishment of occupational safety programs. These training activities will allow the trainees to enhance their ability to handle occupational injuries.
Study: We promote research on environmental hazards, public health and epidemiology; seek cooperation with neighboring colleges; enhance research capacity; and support of a clinical toxicology laboratory to provide examination of heavy metals, drugs, organic solvents, cyanide and other toxins.
Disaster Medicine and Emergency Medical Operation Center (EMOC)
Our Department has participated in a wide range of disaster management in the past decades, including severe earthquakes, typhoons and outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as SARS in 2003. In 2004, the Ministry of Health and Welfare commissioned our Department to establish the Taichung Branch of Emergency Operation Center (EOC, re-named as the Emergency Medical Operation Center, EMOC in 2016). The EMOC has been dedicated to establishing disaster management in the three areas of central Taiwan (Taichung, Nantou, and Changhua). The Center focuses on the organizing and training of disaster responding mechanisms, while supplying needed resources/equipment for various disasters, including but not limited to, chemical and nuclear. The EMOC also takes responsibility for initiating emergency management in hospitals and other governmental organizations, along with collecting information during emergency operations when a disaster occurs.