Payson Regional Medical Center (PRMC) has successfully obtained Level IV Trauma Center designation by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Chris Wolf, chief executive officer of PRMC has announced.
“The designation demonstrates PRMC’s commitment to making sure trauma patients obtain the right level of care as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Wolf.
“This designation means that PRMC is part of the state’s trauma network and can coordinate trauma cases with other trauma centers. What this means to us is that we have become more efficient at resuscitating and stabilizing patients,” said Carl Valenti, director of emergency services.
Prior to the designation, trauma patients were taken directly to trauma centers in other areas of the state. PRMC now has an around-the-clock trauma team that will rapidly stabilize and provide initial treatment for trauma patients. The trauma team is prepared to assess and determine the best course of action for the injured patient. If necessary, the trauma team will stabilize then transfer patients to a Level I trauma center in stable condition, increasing the survivability of their injuries. Level 1 trauma centers must have around-the-clock surgical teams, including specialists like neurosurgeons — a standby capability that only a large hospital in a major metropolitan center can afford.
More than 24,000 people are traumatically injured every year in Arizona. In fact, traumatic injury — automobile crashes, gunshot and knife wounds, falls, battery or burns — is the leading cause of death for Arizonans ages 1-44. Payson has far more such serious injuries than most small, rural communities due to the presence of the intersecting highways here.
People injured in these types of incidents are treated under the umbrella of Arizona’s trauma system, which includes:
• 9-1-1 dispatchers
• First responders (EMTs,
• Air and ground ambulances
• Hospital emergency
• Hospital trauma centers
• Rehabilitation facilities
All hospitals are required to have emergency departments, but they are not required to have a trauma center. All emergency departments are capable of treating ill and injured people. Trauma centers are required to have specific physician specialists and equipment available in order to treat people in need of trauma services, based on the designated trauma level.
The physicians at PRMC’s emergency department are expertly qualified for trauma care. All emergency department doctors are board certified and are also Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) certified. ATLS is a training program for physicians in the management of acute trauma cases developed by the American College of Surgeons. This certification is widely accepted as the standard of care for initial assessment and treatment in trauma centers.
As a trauma center, PRMC will be able to offer quicker intervention and begin stabilization and lifesaving measures more quickly for the community.