Beyond the Emergency Room: Unveiling the Exceptional T10 Trauma Room at St. Anthony Hospital

February 26, 2024
Trauma surgery

St. Anthony Hospital features an exceptional healthcare facility distinguished by its unwavering dedication to delivering life-saving care to trauma victims. At the heart of this dedication is the CommonSpirit T10 Trauma Room, a designated Level 1 trauma center. We delve into the unique aspects of Trauma Room 10 in our interview with Dr. Brian Blackwood, the Trauma Medical Director at St. Anthony Hospital.

St. Anthony Hospital is part of the CommonSpirit Health. CommonSpirit is a dedicated, mission-driven healthcare system with clinics and hospitals across 21 states.

Understanding T10

For those unfamiliar with the concept, Trauma Room 10, or T10, is a specialized space reserved for patients with life-threatening injuries requiring immediate intervention. Dr. Blackwood explained that trauma centers like the one at St. Anthony Hospital have different activation levels based on the severity of patient injuries.

Immediate Intervention

“What is unique about St. Anthony,” Dr. Blackwood said, “is that we skip the emergency department to send patients directly from the field to our fully equipped operating room where their initial trauma evaluation and care will occur.”

Unique Resources

The T10 room is equipped with unique resources essential for quick and efficient patient care. From surgical tools to anesthesia and rapid blood transfusions, the room is stocked to handle diverse trauma scenarios. One of the unique features of T-10 is a ceiling-boom design for imaging and instrumentation. Staff can move the boom around the operating room, freeing up space for the surgical team. There is also a dumb-waiter for blood delivery and a specialized pneumatic tube system that enables blood and pharmaceuticals to be rapidly delivered.


The strategic location of the T10 room near the Emergency Room and the Flight For Life helipad ensures swift patient transfer from the field. Accessible by a dedicated high-speed elevator, it is possible to speed a patient and the entire trauma team from the Emergency Department or helipad entrance in only three seconds. The proximity to critical facilities like a dedicated CT scan and imaging room, intervention radiology, and the ICU enhances the efficiency of emergency and follow-up care.

What Are the criteria for T10 Patients?

Patients admitted to T10 typically have significant traumatic injuries or life-threatening conditions. The criteria include those with penetrating trauma, cardiac arrest, and injuries to the abdomen or chest. “These types of injuries could result from car accidents, falls, or gunshot wounds,” said Dr. Blackwood.

Team Assembly and Collaboration

Dr. Blackwood also shed light on the seamless coordination of the T10 team, comprising approximately 15 specialists from various fields, including designated nurses from the emergency department (ED), intensive care unit (ICU), post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), operating room (OR), and anesthesia. With a trauma surgeon and team on-call 24/7, the team swiftly assembles to focus on the critical needs of the patient.

“When a patient comes in as a T10, the team on-call will get pages,” Dr. Blackwood described. “As soon as we get that page, our team and those deemed part of the T10 team go to that room as quickly as possible.”

Each team member’s expertise contributes to the comprehensive care of the trauma patient.

“We all come together and focus on this patient that needs us the most,” Dr. Blackwood said. “It truly is a team effort.”

Trauma Care Resources

As a Level I Shock Trauma Center, St. Anthony Hospital has an entire team of attending trauma specialists onsite or on call 24 hours a day, including:

  • Emergency Physicians
  • Trauma Surgeons
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Radiologists
  • CT Techs
  • Specially Certified Trauma Nurses
  • Traumatology orthopedists
  • Neurosurgeons

The 76 private ICU rooms and 17 surgical suites at St. Anthony Hospital support T10 patients with follow-up care. The teams include nurses specifically skilled in shock trauma care who work as a team to provide rapid intervention and intensive monitoring to achieve the highest quality outcomes.

Impressive Data Outcomes

One of the remarkable aspects highlighted by Dr. Blackwood is the impressive time to hemorrhage control surgery at St. Anthony Hospital, which is 25-40% faster than similar facilities nationally. This efficiency, monitored through the Trauma Quality Improvement Project (TQIP) program, directly correlates with improved patient outcomes.

“We had a recent case where a patient arrived in cardiac arrest after a stab wound to the chest and survived with a good functional outcome,” Dr. Blackwood shared.

He said that the likelihood of surviving a cardiac arrest after trauma is typically only around 1%. “The T10 room helps us to achieve outcomes like this when minutes matter.”

The T10 room enables the rapid delivery of trauma care. The combination of the one-of-a-kind facility and the incredible commitment and dedication of the St. Anthony Hospital healthcare team ensures the best possible outcomes for trauma patients in their community. The T10 Trauma Room is a testament to their unwavering dedication to excellence in trauma care.

Content previously shared in The Denver Post.