North Charleston, SC - Trident Medical Center has been designated a Level ll Trauma Center by the South Carolina Bureau of EMS and Trauma. The notification completes a nearly two-year process of preparation by the hospital and an extensive review by the state.
Trident Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Todd Gallati said the designation is a milestone achievement for the hospital and staff. “In the last four years, we have more than doubled the number of trauma patients we care for,” said Gallati. “During that period we’ve grown from treating nearly 300 trauma patients annually to more than 1,000. The growth is evidence of the trust our community has in the emergent critical care services that we provide.” The hospital has operated as a Level lll Trauma Center since 2011.
The expansion to a Level ll Trauma Center showcases the hospital’s expertise in the delivery of critical care services. Gallati explained trauma patients often require multiple specialists to work together at the same time. “It often takes a team of surgeons, whether trauma, neuro, orthopedic or subspecialists, including emergency and anesthesia to stabilize the patients. It’s a highly specialized environment to work within, but when orchestrated as we have demonstrated at Trident our patients benefit.” The surgical teams are also supported by experienced teams of trauma and emergency-trained nurses.
Trident Medical Center Trauma Director Shelby Rivera, RN said many of the hospital’s trauma surgeons gained valuable experience in the military performing surgery under combat situations. “Our surgeons are all double-boarded in surgery and surgery critical care. The majority have had multiple combat deployments or served as faculty at Level l trauma centers.”
Gallati adds, “Being a state-recognized Level ll Trauma Center shows Trident Medical Center’s commitment to providing our community a higher level of care for our most critically injured patients with time sensitive injuries.” Trident’s dedication to being a trauma center in South Carolina will be regularly reviewed by the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Emergency Physicians to ensure the hospital continues to provide quality care.
Trident Medical Center will function with the same requirements as a Level l trauma center in terms of availability of the entire trauma team from physicians, nurses, and other support staff.
One of the most important benefits to patients transported to the new Trident Medical Center Level ll Trauma Center is quicker access to critical care for serious injuries. Eliminating time in transport has been shown to increase survival and increase the likelihood a patient will arrive at Trident within the “Golden Hour.”
In the 1960s Dr. R Adams Cowley at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore first described the “Golden Hour.” He recognized that the sooner trauma patients reached definitive care – particularly if they arrived within 60 minutes of being injured – the better their chance of survival.
Trauma center designation criteria set strict requirement for hospital staffing, physician subspecialty availability, response times, education and training and increased focus on quality improvement; all supported by outreach and community education.
“Trident’s new designation as a Level ll Trauma Center allows EMS services to know exactly what our hospital’s capabilities are for caring for trauma patients,” explained Gallati. “Our community’s injury patterns fall within the national standards with auto and motorcycle accidents, burns, gunshot wounds, sports injuries, and falls as among the most frequently treated at the hospital.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
“I can’t be any prouder than I am of our team,” explained Gallati. “This is an exciting time to be a part of Trident Medical Center and we thank our community for expressing their confidence in us by trusting us with the care of their most critically injured loved ones.”