Bay Receives Level II Trauma Designations for Bay, Gulf, Washington & Holmes Counties
December 4, 2013
Christa Dean Hild
PANAMA CITY, FL — Bay Medical has been issued a certificate of approval from the Florida Department of Health to serve as a Level II Trauma Center for our region effective Dec. 1, 2013 through November 30, 2020. Bay Medical is the first and only designated trauma center in Trauma Service Area Two, consisting of Bay, Gulf, Washington and Holmes counties and is the only center between Pensacola and Tallahassee in Northwest Florida. Bay Medical received provisional status in May of 2012 to serve as a Level II Trauma Center, however a recent survey of trauma services provided at Bay Medical has resulted in full approval.
Hospitals that qualify as a designated trauma center provide trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons, and multiple surgical and non-surgical specialists available within 30 minutes or less, 24 hours a day, as well as the necessary equipment and facilities for immediate and follow-up treatment for severely injured patients. Having fast access to a hospital that has been verified by the Department of Health as a trauma center is critical to survival in the event of severe injury. According to CDC statistics, injuries are the leading cause of death for children and adults ages 1 to 44. When critically injured patients are treated at trauma centers, they receive the highest level of care in the most cost effective setting. In addition, preventable trauma related deaths are reduced as much as 25 percent, according to CDC-supported research, versus trauma care in a typical emergency room.
“To receive this designation is no small task,” says Trauma Medical Director Dr. Glenn Summers. “This took a great deal of team work and thousands of hours of additional training for our physicians and nursing staff to meet the standards set by the Department of Health. This higher focus on the details, knowledge of the best practices and the level of expertise that is always available is what improves our patient’s outcomes.”
EMS personnel or hospital emergency physicians determine if a patient is a trauma alert based on criteria set by the Department of Health Trauma Program. All trauma alerts that are within the trauma service area or within 50 miles of the designated hospital are immediately transported to the trauma center and the trauma team is mobilized while the patient is enroute. This alert and immediate mobilization system has been in use at Bay Medical for heart attacks and strokes as well. Motor vehicle accidents and falls are common causes of trauma, however a trauma alert indicates severe injury such as ejection from a vehicle, multiple fractures, penetrating injuries, spinal cord injury, loss of sensation or paralysis.
While trauma care most often begins in the field or the emergency department, the trauma team is multi-disciplinary and protocols are in place for trauma patients throughout their treatment and rehabilitation. “This trauma designation only happened with the collaborative efforts of every department in the hospital working together,” says Barry Keel, Bay Medical President & CEO. “Once a trauma patient arrives at Bay Medical, the care of these patients only begins in the emergency department. I am extremely proud and honored to work with such a caring and compassionate team of employees and physicians.”