Level II Trauma Center reverified in Eau Claire

December 14, 2011

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire has been reverified as a Level II Trauma Center by the Verification Review Committee, an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons. After a rigorous on-site review, the American College of Surgeons commended Mayo Clinic Health System for its demonstrated commitment to provide superior trauma care for injured patients.

To maintain verification, a review is required every three years. Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire became a Level II Trauma Center in February 1998. It was the first recognized Level II Trauma Center in the state and is the only one in west-central Wisconsin. Statewide, only eight Level II Trauma Centers are verified by the American College of Surgeons.

“Status as a verified Level II Trauma Center is a great honor,” said Randall Linton, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. “We’re extremely pleased with the results of the survey and proud of the work and commitment of all our staff.”

At a Level II Trauma Center, a surgeon must see major trauma patients within 15 minutes and an operating room must be immediately available. Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire has 24-hour, seven-day-a-week coverage by trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons, and specialists in emergency medicine, anesthesiology, radiology, thoracic surgery, plastic surgery, critical care, and ear, nose and throat. In addition, the trauma team consists of a large group of health care providers, including nurses specially trained in trauma, therapists, chaplains and other specialists.

“The biggest value a verified trauma center brings to critically injured patients is collaborative care that is well structured, organized and efficient,” said David Ciresi, M.D., trauma surgeon and medical director of the Trauma Center at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. “When minutes count, you need to have that system in place; you cannot be figuring it out for the first time. Every member of our team knows exactly what he or she needs to do in a trauma case.”

As the only Level II Trauma Center in the region, Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire offers everything for optimum trauma patient care from injury to rehabilitation. Level I Trauma Centers have the added dimension of being teaching hospitals with a research commitment and added capabilities like reimplantation or burn treatment. The nearest Level I Trauma Centers are in the Twin Cities and at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the Committee on Trauma’s Consultation/Verification Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the prehospital phase through the rehabilitation process.

The American College of Surgeons’ review is a voluntary and extensive process that demonstrates commitment to injured patients, injury prevention and public and staff education. Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance, as outlined by the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma.

The Committee on Trauma’s verification program does not designate trauma centers. Rather, the program provides a confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for all injured patients. The actual establishment and the designation of trauma centers is the function of local, regional, or state health care systems agencies, such as the local emergency medical services (EMS) authority.

There are five separate categories of verification in the Committee on Trauma’s program. Each category has specific criteria that must be met by a facility seeking that level of verification. Each hospital has an on-site review by a team of experienced trauma surgeons, who use the current “Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient” manual as a guideline in conducting the survey.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College has 59,000 members, and it is the largest association of surgeons in the world. Longstanding achievements have placed the American College of Surgeons in the forefront of American surgery and have made it an important advocate for all surgical patients.

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Mayo Clinic Health System consists of Mayo-owned clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities that serve the health care needs of people in 70 communities in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The community-based providers, paired with the resources and expertise of Mayo Clinic, enable patients in the region to receive the highest-quality health care close to home.

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