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Trauma Program

What is Trauma and who would benefit from the program?blurry imag eof a patient on a stretcher in front of an ambulance

Sometimes when a patient comes to CHEO with a serious injury – perhaps from a bad car accident or a big fall – they need extra care. CHEO has a large team of trauma experts who have special training and experience in treating life-threatening injuries and saving lives.

The “trauma team” can move quickly to get all the medical resources needed to treat your child and ensure the best possible outcome. We have access to experts in a wide range of surgical fields, each of whom specializes in treating children and understands their special needs. And we have trained trauma nurses to manage these patients, “following” them throughout their treatments and rehabilitation to ensure that all of their complex medical needs are met.

The trauma program also has strong research, education and advocacy activities, all with the goal of helping to keep kids safe and out of the hospital. CHEO provides trauma care to patients from Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, parts of Northern and Southeastern Ontario as well as Baffin Island. CHEO has an agreement with the province of Quebec to provide pediatric trauma care for the patients in the Outaouais catchment area.

History of the CHEO Trauma Program

Although CHEO has always treated pediatric trauma patients, the hospital was designated as a Lead Trauma Hospital by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in January 2000. Since that time CHEO has developed a comprehensive Trauma Program which encompasses key areas such as:

  • Clinical trauma care supported by evidenced based practice
  • Trauma patient case management
  • Trauma Team Activation Process
  • 24/7 Trauma Team Leader coverage
  • Trauma Program infrastructure
  • A Trauma Registry with data submission to the Provincial Trauma Registry
  • Trauma care quality improvement Injury prevention
  • Trauma research
  • Trauma education including a new initiative of trauma outreach using CHEO Telehealth web-based service

The Trauma Program Vision, Mission and Values statement follows: 

Our VISION is…

  • To make a difference in the lives of children, youth and families by ensuring best injury outcomes and promoting a safe community.


  • To provide exceptional trauma care for children, youth and their families within a multicultural environment,
  • To provide leadership in regional pediatric trauma care,
  • To expand the understanding and quality of pediatric trauma care through research, education and advocating for best practice,To promote injury prevention

Our VALUES are…

  • The pursue excellence and innovation,
  • To foster a team approach,
  • To collaborate with hospital and community partners,
  • To encourage a learning environment,
  • To act as a role model within the hospital and within the region,
  • And to promote bilingualism

Members of the Team

Ms Chris Clement, Operations Director
Dr. Ahmed Nasr, Physician Medical Operations
Ms. Kerri-Lynn Whyte RN, Trauma/Injury Prevention Coordinator
Wietske Dykstra, Trauma Data Analyst/Injury Data Coordinator
Christina Toppozini RN, Trauma Educator

TAC Accreditation in October 2006

In October 2006, CHEO was surveyed by representatives of the Trauma Association of Canada (TAC) and was accredited for 5 years.

Trauma Data Facts & Figures

From April 2008 to March 2009 there were:

  • 10,881 visits to CHEO Emergency Department due to injury
  • 430 children and youth hospitalized at CHEO due to injury
  • 167 patients were followed by the trauma program
  • 93 trauma team activations76 patients suffered serious injury
  • 53% of the severely injured children and youth were referred from other hospitals
  • 49 % of the severely injured children and youth had a stay in the Intensive Care Unit
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