St. Louis Children’s Hospital has been re-verified as a Level 1 pediatric trauma center by the American College of Surgeons. Level I verification is the highest possible ranking for trauma centers and recognizes the hospital is equipped to handle the most severe injuries.
SLCH is one of about 50 ACS-verified pediatric Level 1 trauma centers in the United States. It’s the only pediatric hospital within a 200-mile radius of St. Louis to receive this designation.
“I’m proud of our team,” says SLCH President Trish Lollo. “They commit significant time and effort to ensure our pediatric trauma services are comprehensive and of the highest quality. This allows us to serve as the only Level 1 pediatric trauma center in the region.”
The evaluation’s extensive criteria require excellence in the following areas: a complete call panel of board-certified physicians, pre-hospital care, follow-up care, nursing education, injury prevention and research.
Offering hospitalwide excellence
“It takes more than just a top-notch ER team to achieve this Level 1 verification,” says Lindsay Clukies, MD, a Washington University pediatric emergency physician and associate medical director of trauma services at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “We must also offer excellence across the hospital in our Pediatric ICU, inpatient floors, radiology, blood bank and more.”
Approximately 58,000 patients are seen in the St. Louis Children’s Emergency Department each year from throughout Missouri and Illinois; more than 2,000 of these cases meet trauma registry eligibility criteria. The trauma registry collects data on seriously injured patients to support patient follow-up, performance improvement and research.
The ACS works to improve the care of injured patients – before and after hospitalization, and during transport. A team of trauma experts visits the hospital to assess relevant features of the program, including commitment, readiness, resources, policies, patient care, and performance improvement. ACS verification occurs every three years.
Achieving the best outcomes
“Parents have a choice of where they take their children, and we hope they will recognize the importance of choosing a hospital that offers services in every pediatric medical and surgical specialty,” says Michele Herndon, RN trauma program manager. “We rely heavily on our EMS colleagues and the vital role they perform at the scene, which then allows us to do our part to achieve the best outcome possible for that child.”
The ACS first verified St. Louis Children’s Hospital as a Pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center in 2012.