St. Vincent joins short list of top trauma centers in state

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The trauma center at St. Vincent Indianapolis has become the third such facility in the state to be recognized as a Level I Trauma Center, meaning it is equipped and staffed to handle the most serious injuries.

The center received the certification from the American College of Surgeons, which already recognizes Eskenazi Hospital and IU Health's Methodist Hospital as Level I Trauma Centers for adults. State health officials rely on the ACS to determine which hospitals meet the requirements for the designation.

The designation “provides important outside verification of the full scope and quality of care provided by our trauma center,” said Dr. Lewis Jacobson, medical director of the St. Vincent center, in an announcement Wednesday.

Some kinds of injuries are so serious that they must be treated at a Level I center, said Ryan Moore, chief communications and marketing officer for St. Vincent.

“Now we can accept some of the most serious patients that would have needed to go downtown,” Moore said. “For people on the north side, they now have closer access to that level of care.”

The ACS verification process includes assessment from experts in trauma focusing on the center’s readiness, resources, policies and patient care.

Key elements of a Level I Trauma Center include 24-hour in-house coverage by general surgeons, and prompt availability of care in specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine and critical care. Other modes of care include cardiac, hand, pediatric, microvascular surgery and hemodialysis.

IU Health’s Riley Hospital for Children is the state’s only Level I center for children.

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