University Hospitals Cleveland earns ACS Level I trauma verification

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University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center has been verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level I trauma center.

The Level I trauma center opened late in 2015 and has been operating under provisional status. “Obtaining a Level I verification status indicates the institution’s capability of providing comprehensive care for every aspect of injury,” said Nathaniel McQuay, MD, director of trauma services and acute care surgery. “Level I trauma centers also have a major responsibility for providing leadership in education, research, and system planning thereby ensuring the continuing presence of adequate resources in order to provide efficient, high level care for the management of time sensitive injuries.”

According to a UH press release, the trauma center launch was part of an initiative to create a coordinated regional trauma network of UH hospitals. The Level I trauma center coordinates with an extended regional trauma system that includes four existing Level III trauma centers at UH Geauga Medical Center, St. John Medical Center in Westlake, Southwest General Health Center in Middleburg Heights, and UH Portage Medical Center in Ravenna.

Additionally, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, on UH’s main campus, is the region’s only Level I center for children and adolescents. The UH Rainbow center has been a continuously verified Level I pediatric trauma center by the ACS for 25 years.

“Traumatic injury is a major public health issue in the US and Northeast Ohio. It is the major killer of young people, ages 1 through 44, and results in the largest amount of years of productive life lost, more than cancer or heart disease,” said Glen Tinkoff, MD, the system chief of trauma and acute care surgery. “By investing in comprehensive trauma care system-wide, UH is making a major commitment to providing all trauma victims the appropriate level of care they require and deserve and doing so efficiently and effectively.”

Between January 1, 2016, and April 30, 2017, the Level I adult trauma service at UH evaluated 3,300 trauma patients, admitted almost 2,500 injured patients to the hospital, and responded to more than 1,900 ED activations.

UH is a member of the Northern Ohio Trauma System (NOTS), which also includes MetroHealth Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic.