Friday, September 21, 2012

University of Kansas Hospital Trauma program reverified at Level 1 by American College of Surgeons

News Release

After an extensive review by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), The University of Kansas Hospital Trauma Program has been reverified at Level 1 status, the highest level any trauma program in the country can achieve.

The University of Kansas Hospital is the first in northeast Kansas and currently the only greater Kansas City hospital to achieve this rating. The hospital’s Trauma Program was first verified at Level 1 by the ACS in September of 2000.

“Our Level 1 Trauma Program is the only one in the area to have a confirmed national verification at that level,” said Michael Moncure, MD, associate professor of surgery and medical director of The University of Kansas Hospital Trauma Program. “It also means our patients can expect to receive the same kind of trauma care that they would receive at a Level 1 center in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.”

The nearest ACS Level 1 trauma center in Kansas is in Wichita and the nearest in Missouri is in Columbia.

The ACS Level 1 rating has been awarded to only 111 out of nearly 1,700 trauma programs in the country, and differs from the status designated by some individual states. It can take from one to two years and multiple on-site reviews by a team of ACS inspectors to achieve this status.

Only after meeting hundreds of demanding criteria is a trauma program awarded this distinction. The University of Kansas Hospital treated 1,986 trauma patients in the last year.

Most emergency departments have a number of doctors on duty and others on call.

But at The University of Kansas Hospital, the trauma team includes board certified surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, blood bank, X-ray, laboratory and respiratory personnel and other highly trained specialists that can be assembled in minutes to start treatment the moment a patient arrives.

“The University of Kansas Hospital is prepared 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to offer immediate medical care for life and limb threatening injuries,” says Moncure.

Trauma patients often require immediate access to a surgical suite. After a severe injury, much of the damage is reversible, but only for a limited time.

“It’s this instant access to the most advanced technology and our team of highly trained and skilled trauma experts that lets us successfully treat so many patients in that critical first hour,” said Moncure.

In fact, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that patients treated at Level 1 trauma centers fare significantly better than those with comparable injuries who are treated at non-trauma centers.

Findings showed Level 1 trauma centers can lower the risk of death for injured patients by 25%.

“The closest hospital with an emergency room may not be the best destination for a trauma patient. It is often in the best interest of a serious trauma patient to go straight to a Level 1 center even though it may be a slightly longer trip,” said Moncure.  

As a Level 1 Trauma Program, The University of Kansas Hospital will continue its participation in various research activities.

Trauma Program staff members will also continue to offer public education, injury prevention programs and other activities that are designed to make the community safer. As a teaching facility, The University of Kansas Hospital Trauma Program will continue training medical students and residents how to treat injured patients.

“Our community deserves the highest quality of care to be immediately available,” Moncure said. “Our trauma program has met the rigorous criteria set by the American College of Surgeons and is on the same level as the very best hospitals in the country.”