2013-06-13 / Community News

St. Joseph Now a Level II Trauma Center

We’re pleased to announce the trauma program at St. Joseph has been verified as a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and designated as a Level II Trauma Center by the Texas Department of State Health Services. (DSHS).

This achievement recognizes St. Joseph’s dedication to providing optimal care for patients suffering from all types of injuries, including those that are life-threatening.

The American College of Surgeons verifies the existence of certain resources. Some things they consider include readiness, commitment, policies, patient care and performance improvement.

Trauma is an injury or wound caused by something outside the body. Trauma can be caused by things like falls, car accidents and weapons.

* Trauma centers handle the most severe, life-threatening, blunt force and penetrating injuries that require operations and other interventions by multiple specialists.

* Trauma centers provide comprehensive care to all trauma patients and can decrease the likelihood of fatality from trauma by 25 percent. (Source: Trauma Center Association of America.)

* Only one in 10 U.S. hospitals is a major trauma center, meaning 45 million Americans don’t have access to a Level I or Level II trauma center within an hour of being injured. (Trauma Center Association of America.)

Formerly, St. Joseph had been the Lead Level III Trauma Center for the Brazos Valley. In 2007 and 2010, St. Joseph was encouraged by state surveyors to seek Level II Trauma designation because we already met many of the Level II criteria and capabilities.

To be evaluated as a Level II Trauma Center, St. Joseph had to demonstrate that it could operate to that standard.

With centers of excellence for advanced neurosurgery care and orthopedic care, St. Joseph has long-provided a high level of trauma care for patients with neuro or orthopedic injuries. As we moved toward our Level II designation, more physicians with specific trauma surgery expertise were recruited. Dr. Adair de Berry- Carlisle, a board-certified trauma surgeon, joined St. Joseph as our Trauma Center Medical Director.

While we met many of the requirements for a Level II designation for some time, this formal recognition allows EMS crews and the public to know our trauma capabilities are the most advanced in the region and have surpassed all other local providers.

Having this level of trauma care available in our region allows patients access to high quality trauma care for the best possible outcome, closer to home.

ACS did not just examine our hospital resources necessary for trauma care. Evaluators considered whether or not we could provide comprehensive care for all injured patients.

Their designation means we have the expertise, equipment and programs in place to care for every part of the patient and family’s experience – from EMS to ER to imaging, lab, surgery, spiritual care, hospital nursing units and rehabilitation.

St. Joseph knows trauma care is a team effort involving every department and we’re ready.

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