MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Loyola University Medical Center has been re-verified as a Level 1 Trauma Center, a hospital that meets all the emergency medical standards to care for patients who suffer life-threatening injuries in Illinois, according to the America College of Surgeons (ACS).
Loyola is the only hospital in the state, and one of the few hospitals in the nation, to receive such distinction from that prestigious organization. The re-verification process confirms that Loyola has the full contingent of multidisciplinary resources needed to care for all types of injuries 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to the ACS, which recently reviewed the hospital facility and its trauma care delivery. The ACS, a respected professional organization with more than 72,000 members, establishes national guidelines for trauma care in the United States.
Key elements of Level I trauma care include rapid access to surgeons, nurses and staff with specialized knowledge and competency in trauma management, as well as access to the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, clinical dietetics, respiratory therapy, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care. Immediate availability of resources such as operating rooms, ICUs, CT scanners and other sophisticated equipment are also essential. Other important attributes include commitment to trauma prevention education, teaching and research.
"At Loyola, we are committed to being among the leaders in advancing and advocating excellence in trauma care, and our re-verification as a Level 1 Trauma Center by the ACS is proof of that commitment," said Dr. Thomas Esposito, professor of surgery and chief of the division of trauma, surgical critical care and burns in the department of surgery, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood. "We continually monitor our performance and look for ways to improve it as a team functioning in a systematic way."
The verification by the ACS is recognition of Loyola's ability to manage the entire spectrum of injuries, from the minor to the most serious and complex, including mass casualties, from admission to discharge. It's also an indicator of the high quality of care trauma patients receive in Loyola's intensive care units, Burn Center and general floors as well as its follow-up services.
"I'm pleased, though not surprised, that the American College of Surgeons has again bestowed this distinguished commendation on our medical center," said Dr. Paul K. Whelton, MSc, president and CEO, Loyola University Health System. "It's a clear acknowledgement of our commitment to providing only the highest in critical care for Chicago, and the entire region if called upon."
The ACS verification is in addition to Loyola's designation as a Level I Trauma Center by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Loyola is also an American Burn Association/ACS verified burn center that provides the same high standard of care to people who are burned. The burn center is directed by Dr. Richard Gamelli, dean, Stritch School of Medicine.
The verification is granted after a meticulous on-site review of the hospital is conducted by a team of surgeons considered experts in the field of trauma care. The team visited Loyola in May to review the entire scope function. The Level I verification is valid through 2012.
Trauma centers in the United States can voluntarily apply to be verified by the ACS, which identifies four levels of Trauma Centers (I, II, III, IV). Illinois has two levels of designations, I and II, and pediatric I and II. While proud of its recognition by both bodies, ACS verification is considered the most standardized and stringent method of facility categorization in the field of trauma surgery.
Loyola is also the command hospital for the 14 Chicago area hospitals that comprise Region 8 of the Illinois Emergency Medical Services/Trauma System. In this capacity it coordinates regional training for, and provides a majority of the care in the event of, a major terrorist attack, natural disaster or other mass casualty incidents in the region or the state.