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ISDH continues work to increase trauma centers, create a statewide trauma system
e-Reports, May 28, 2013
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Trauma centers in Indiana

Level I and II trauma centers have similar personnel, services and resource requirements with the greatest difference being that Level I centers are research and teaching facilities.

Level I
IU Health Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis

Wishard Memorial Hospital, Indianapolis

Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis
(Pediatric designation only)

Level II
Deaconess Hospital, Evansville

Lutheran Hospital of Indiana,* Fort Wayne

Memorial Hospital, South Bend

Parkview Regional Medical Center,* Fort Wayne

St. Mary’s Medical Center,* Evansville

St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis

*Certified Level II for pediatrics

Read how hospitals are verified by the American College of Surgeons for trauma care here.

The recent tragedy in Boston provides a grim reminder of the importance of a sufficient number of verified trauma centers. More than 170 injured in the bomb blast were taken to Boston’s nine hospitals, all verified either Level I or Level II trauma facilities, according to the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

Trauma centers are hospitals that have applied for and been granted verification by the ACS. They can lower preventable death rates by as much as 25-30 percent.

However, Indiana does not have enough trauma centers to serve its citizens, according to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). Only 58 percent of the state’s population lives within 45 minutes of a certified trauma center.

Efforts underway
In response, a state committee has been working to increase these facilities and to create a statewide trauma system.

“Texas has one of the best and oldest statewide trauma systems,” commented William Millikan, M.D., a member of the Indiana State Trauma Committee. “We are templating a system for Indiana off the Texas example. It’s the gold standard. Right now, Indiana is in evolution. We are all committed to getting the trauma system moving.”

Dr. Milikan Dr. Welsh
William Millikan, M.D.
David Welsh, M.D.

Last year, the ISDH Trauma and Injury Prevention staff toured the state to gather information, and they have traveled this year to provide an update and discuss roadblocks.

“We are especially concerned that there is no trauma center in northwest Indiana,” explained David Welsh, M.D., ISMA past president and a member of the state committee. “Trauma patients there are taken to Illinois. That means longer transport times, which adversely affect outcomes.”

Dr. Welsh noted that a new state Emergency Medical Services Commission rule requires patients to be transported to the nearest trauma center.

“Patients benefit when they can get to a trauma center within a short 45-minute window of time,” he said. “The outcomes are better and function is improved.”

Financial support
Funding is the main barrier for Indiana hospitals, according to Dr. Millikan. Attaining trauma verification requires a full range of specialists and equipment with 24-hour availability.

“It’s a financial commitment by the institutions and physicians to maintain verification,” explained Dr. Millikan. “In Evansville, trauma surgeons work on an activation fee for trauma calls. So if there are no trauma calls, there is no pay.”

Other challenges include the state’s lack of emergency medical service providers, especially in rural areas, and the need to combine all components of a trauma system within the same state agency.

What you can do
Both physicians suggest you encourage your local hospital to participate in trauma care and the state’s trauma registry. For questions, call Art Logsdon at the ISDH at (317) 233-7679 or email him.

Beginning this month, the ISDH staff will offer free EMS registry training throughout the state. Find information and the location dates at in.gov.

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