Source: Grosse Pointe News Online

Seek trauma center appropriate for injury

by Glen Clark, M.D.

June 20, 2013

Q. We recently moved into the area. My son plans on playing football for one of the local high schools and I worry about him being injured. If he was injured, I was informed I should seek the services of a Level III trauma center. What does that mean?

A. A Level III trauma center has demonstrated the ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation and stabilization, including emergency surgery and critical care for most trauma patients.

Verified by the American College of Surgeons, achieving Level III trauma care status means the hospital has met a strict set of criteria, such as 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians and prompt availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists.

A center at this level recognizes the importance of the first hour immediately following the injury as critical in defining patient outcomes and survival rates.

When EMS arrives at the scene of an accident, they contact the nearest hospital emergency center to report details of the accident, the patient’s condition and notify them to activate the trauma team.

Based on the patient’s injury, the hospital’s specialized trauma team, including emergency medicine physicians, anesthesiologists, nurses and respiratory and radiology technologists are waiting to immediately treat the patient when he or she arrives at the hospital.

The trauma team quickly assesses the patient and performs necessary procedures and diagnostic studies for people with serious injuries such as bad falls, motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents or sports-related injuries.

A Level III trauma center typically has transfer agreements in place with Level I and Level II trauma centers to ensure back-up resources for the care of patients with severe injuries.

In addition to providing exceptional, high-quality care to trauma patients, trauma III status requires the hospital staff be educated on injury prevention topics and the trauma team provides injury prevention education and resources to families within the hospital and in the community such as the bike and helmet safety program, child passenger safety, Coumadin injury awareness, fire and home safety and poison prevention.

For more information contact Clark, chief, emergency services, Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe at (313) 473-6940. For information on any of the programs listed, visit

The Family Center of Grosse Pointe and Harper Woods, a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, serves as the community’s centralized hub for information, resources and referral for families and professionals.

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