According to the Trauma Center Association of America (TCAA), traumatic injuries—such as motorcycle and car crashes, assaults and falls from significant heights—are the cause of nearly 170,000 deaths each year in the United States. That accounts for 400 deaths each day—many of which can be prevented. In its continuing commitment to the community to provide excellent medical care, Research Medical Center has been named a Level 1 Trauma Center, the highest level designated by the Missouri Department of Health. This designation reflects Research Medical Center’s—part of HCA Midwest Health System, Kansas City’s largest healthcare network—dedication to provide advanced life-saving emergency and trauma care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To become a Level 1 Trauma Center, Research Medical Center met stringent regulations. Additionally, each member of the trauma team—physicians, surgeons and nurses—fulfilled strict education requirements.
Research Medical Center has five trauma surgeons on the Level 1 Trauma Center team, plus a hand surgeon and two orthopedic traumatologists that can provide care for complex pelvic fractures. “It’s not often that a designated Level 1 Trauma Center has a specially trained orthopedic traumatologist, let alone two,” says Carla Sage, Trauma Center service director.
Research Medical Center also provides education support to outlying rural facilities and local Emergency Medical Service providers. “These efforts will enhance our mission of ensuring that medical professionals receive optimal education to maximize our trauma care,” says H. Scott Bjerke, MD, FACS, medical director of the Trauma Center.
Dr. Bjerke says trauma injuries are preventable, and Research Medical Center will expand community education regarding trauma prevention. “Trauma is the leading cause of death among children and adults below the age of 45,” says Dr. Bjerke. “According to the TCAA, traumatic injuries are the leading cause of disability among Americans.”
Kevin J. Hicks, chief executive officer at Research Medical Center, says that the Level 1 Trauma Center designation aligns with the hospital’s leadership in comprehensive care for patients. “The Level 1 Trauma Center is a valuable resource to the community that is available all the time,” he says.