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Two Hartford Hospitals To Run Top-Level Trauma Center

By ARIELLE LEVIN BECKER | The Hartford Courant

October 31, 2008

A trauma center run jointly by Connecticut Children's Medical Center and Hartford Hospital has become the state's third Level 1 trauma facility.

The Trauma Institute combines the work of both hospitals' trauma programs and standardizes their practices, staff training and evaluations.Level 1 is the highest level a trauma center can achieve.

"It really fulfills the highest national standard of care and accreditation," said Lenworth Jacobs, the institute's director and the director of trauma at Hartford Hospital. "It's just very exciting to have that happen."

Jacobs said the joint trauma program is the first of its kind in the nation and offers the best way to care for patients by standardizing care. "If you don't have variation, you're not going to make mistakes," he said.

The Level 1 designation means that critically injured children can now be taken directly to the children's hospital. In Connecticut, seriously injured children under 13 must be taken to a Level 1 trauma facility with immediate access to pediatric sub-specialists, an 18-bed pediatric intensive care unit and other resources.

Until The Trauma Institute received the designation, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Hartford Hospital were the state's only Level 1 trauma facilities, and only Yale- New Haven was designated for both adults and children.

Brendan Campbell, director of pediatric trauma at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, said children will likely still be taken first to Hartford Hospital, because the system for it is already in place and the hospital has operating rooms available 24 hours a day the children's hospital doesn't and has some programs the children's hospital does not. The joint institute will allow the two hospitals to better integrate care, he said.

Campbell said the infrastructure improvements and systems developed for the children's hospital to achieve the Level 1 designation will also benefit children with less severe injuries or illnesses. Those include having state-of-the-art surgical suites, access to surgical sub-specialists, in-house radiology technicians 24 hours a day, and an electronic radiology system that allows doctors to look at X-ray images on any desktop computer, in or out of the hospital.

The criteria for trauma centers is governed by the American College of Surgeons, which inspects and authorizes trauma programs. The state Department of Public Health approves trauma programs based on the American College of Surgeons' approval.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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