Mercy hospital designated Arkansas Level I trauma center | Families
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The trauma program at St. John’s Hospital - Springfield has achieved Level I designation from the Arkansas Department of Health as providing the highest level of trauma care.
St. John’s received the designation following a survey by the state health department, which is administering a new statewide trauma system. At the top of the system for coordinating emergency care in the state, Level I trauma centers must have specialized surgeons on duty at all times to quickly care for the most serious and urgent cases.
St. John’s is a part of Mercy along with St. Joseph’s Mercy in Hot Springs, St. Edward Mercy in Fort Smith and Mercy Medical Center in Northwest Arkansas. St. John’s also remains the region’s only Level I trauma center as certified by the state of Missouri, covering the southern half of the state.
The St. John’s program includes board-certified emergency medicine physicians and trauma surgeons. St. John’s trauma services include a state-of-the-art Emergency Department that opened in 2004, along with a major hospital expansion. The department also features general X-ray rooms and computed tomography (CT) scanners, eliminating the need to transport trauma patients for imaging.
Level I centers also must include education, preventive and outreach programs as well as a program of trauma research. St. John’s education programs include hosting regular symposiums for health care professionals across the state on new emergency medicine techniques or refresher courses on trauma practices.
St. John’s leads or participates in numerous injury prevention programs including youth accident prevention programs, driver safety programs and education and car seat safety education.
The statewide trauma system will connect hospitals, ambulance services and other emergency responders statewide to transfer trauma patients as quickly as possible to the facility best able to treat their specific injuries. Four levels of trauma designations for Arkansas hospitals denote the kinds of resources available in a trauma center and the number of patients admitted yearly.
Injuries remain the leading cause of death for adults and children ages 1-44. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said for those with severe injuries, getting to a Level I trauma center can lower the risk of death by 25 percent. In Arkansas, the death rate for all injuries has been consistently higher than the national average.
Act 393, which established the trauma system, was approved by the state Legislature in 2009 and signed into law by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe on March 13, 2009.
(Source: St. Joseph's Mercy press release)