When Trauma Happens, You Need Specialized Care
January 12, 2016
A car crash. A bad fall. A wound. When you suffer a life-threatening injury, you need the expert care that only a trauma center can provide. Here in Lancaster County, we’re fortunate to have a Level II trauma center at Lancaster General Hospital where we care for more than 2,000 patients each year.
With trauma the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 40, the importance of having a high-quality trauma center to serve the community cannot be emphasized enough. More years of potential life are lost due to injury than to heart disease or cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health.
What Is A Level II Trauma Center?
Many people have asked me what it means to be a Level II trauma center. In short, it’s one of three tiers of trauma designations devised in 1976 by the American College of Surgeons and refined by the Pennsylvania system in the mid-1980s. LGH received the designation in 1986.
Level I trauma centers have the highest capabilities for treating the most severely injured patients, including an in-house trauma surgeon around the clock, and they also conduct research. Level II centers like ours incorporate more than 90 percent of the same features of a Level I, but don’t meet the requirements for research and a surgical residency.
Trauma Care Is A Continuum
We believe trauma care is a continuum—starting with the incident, treatment, recovery and rehabilitation, and Lancaster General Hospital has committed the facilities and personnel to maintain a high-level trauma program. Some highlights:
- Pioneering the use of ultrasound in the evaluation of blunt trauma.
- A state-of-the-art dedicated trauma operating room with more than 730 square feet, a flexible layout so we can do more than one surgical procedure at the same time, and digital image technology and heart bypass capability.
- A state-of-the-art, 16-bed trauma intensive care unit.
- The hiring of seven board-certified trauma critical care physicians trained at some of the finest trauma fellowship programs in the country.
- A performance improvement program, recognized for its high quality by the state trauma system, in which our case managers collect daily reports on complications that our trauma registrars then enter into a statewide database
Our trauma center has saved many lives, and the investment in the center means Lancaster-area residents can continue to count on us when their need is greatest.