Most people think that trauma care is equivalent to Emergency Room Care. In fact, management of the traumatically injured patient requires a coordination of multiple specialties both within and outside the hospital, from the EMS providers, to the Emergency Room specialists, hospital-based care, and post discharge issues including rehabilitation, acute follow-up and long-term care. Management of the patient in the Emergency Room is only one small part of the overall management of the complicated issues that an injured patient brings to the hospital. In order for a Trauma Center to function optimally, all involved care teams need to be led by experienced surgeons with knowledge of the major principals of trauma management, and Evansville Surgical Associates has physicians who are trained to provide that service and possess that knowledge base. In order for a hospital to maintain the Trauma Center designation, a strict set of guidelines must be followed, and every three years the American College of Surgeons reviews the hospital’s credentials and grants verification. Evansville and the Tri-State region has two such hospitals serving the population, Deaconess Hospital and St. Mary’s Health are both verified as Level II Trauma Centers, and the physicians from Evansville Surgical Associates provide the experience and expertise demanded of the American College of Surgeons to continue to receive verification every three years.
So, why is it important to maintain Trauma Center verification? How is a Trauma Center different than my local community hospital? It’s important to know that trauma and injury is the number one cause of death from ages 1 to 44 years. Trauma and injury is the number one cause of loss of productivity and loss of lifestyle for those same age groups, which are the primary age of productivity and income generation. Having an established and verified Trauma Center helps to lessen the death rate from injury, the complications that are associates with injury, as well as the cost of injury, not just with the direct costs of the health care system to care for the injured patient, but also the cost for the patient in loss of income and productivity. Trauma is also a disease that requires multiple specialists to achieve optimum recovery, and only in select hospitals are the number of specialists available to care for the complex injury patterns seen in severely injured patients. In fact, even though your local hospital may see an injured patient in the Emergency Room, once it is known that hospital cannot care for the patient due to the complex nature of their injury, that community hospital will then immediately transfer the patient to either Deaconess Hospital or St. Mary’s Health, and from there, the physicians at Evansville Surgical Associates will take over care and ensure that the patient receives the best care available.
For more information regarding care of the injured patient in Indiana, see www.state.in.us/isdh/files/PAPER.pdf