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Iowa Methodist Medical Center gets Level I Trauma Center verification

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 12:04 p.m. CST

DES MOINES — Iowa Methodist Medical Center’s Trauma Center at has been verified as a Level I Adult Trauma Center by the Verification Review Committee, an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons.

Level I is the highest designation available by the ACS. In addition, Blank Children’s Hospital has been verified as a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center. This achievement recognizes the trauma center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.  

Iowa Methodist Medical Center is one of only two Level I adult trauma centers in Iowa. In addition, Blank Children’s Hospital is one of only two trauma centers with a pediatric designation in Iowa. A trauma center is a hospital that has additional resources and equipment to help care for severely injured patients. A trauma center is classified as Level I, II, III or IV. 

“This is an incredible testament to the high-quality emergency and trauma care being provided each day at Iowa Methodist and Blank Children’s,” said Eric Crowell, president and CEO at Iowa Health — Des Moines.  

While most injuries can be treated at a local emergency department, receiving care at a Level I trauma center for severe or life-threatening injuries lowers a person’s risk of death by 25 percent - according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  

“Being a Level I Trauma Center means we have the specialists, the experience and the equipment necessary to save lives in an emergency,” said James Swegle, trauma services medical director. “We have a dedicated team of healthcare specialists available 24/7 to provide life-saving care to trauma patients when they arrive at Iowa Methodist and Blank Children’s.”

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the COT’s Consultation/Verification Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the prehospital phase through the rehabilitation process.  

“Verification by the ACS as a Level I Trauma Center means Iowa Methodist has proven that they provide the highest standard of comprehensive care to injured patients,” said Richard Sidwell, MD, FACS, Trauma Surgeon and ACS Committee on Trauma, State of Iowa Chair. “They pursue research in trauma to advance the cutting edge of knowledge and provide exceptional education to the medical community.

Additionally, it means they are committed to local, regional and national leadership in trauma.”  

“Most Level I Trauma Centers are affiliated with a university. It is truly exceptional that Iowa Methodist has the institutional commitment, medical expertise, depth of resources and leadership to achieve verification as a Level I Trauma Center,” said Dr. Sidwell. 

Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance, as outlined by the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma in its current Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual. The ACS Committee on Trauma’s verification program does not designate trauma centers. Rather, the program provides confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for all injured patients. The actual establishment and the designation of trauma centers is the function of local, regional, or state health care systems agencies, such as the local emergency medical services (EMS) authority.  

There are five separate categories of verification in the COT’s program. Each category has specific criteria that must be met by a facility seeking that level of verification. Each hospital has an on-site review by a team of experienced site reviewers, who use the current Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual as a guideline in conducting the survey.

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