GREENVILLE, S.C. – Greenville Health System’s Greenville Memorial Hospital has been verified as a Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level II Pediatric Trauma Center by the Verification Review Committee (VRC), an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This achievement recognizes the trauma center’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.
“Unlike a state designation, national verification by the American College of Surgeons is completely voluntary. We sought verification because it reaffirms not only our ability to treat complex, specialized injuries but our commitment to providing high quality care along the entire continuum from injury prevention through rehabilitation,” said Benjamin Manning, MD, division chief of trauma for GHS.
According to the National Trauma Institute, trauma is the leading cause of death for Americans between 1 and 46 years old and accounts for more deaths in this population than heart disease and cancer combined. Additionally, studies show that access to a Level I Trauma Center reduces the risk of death by 25 percent among severely injured patients.
At Greenville Memorial, clinicians have seen a 20 percent increase in trauma cases over the past five years, with some patients coming from as far away as northwestern North Carolina and northeastern Georgia to receive care.
“We saw more than 3,500 trauma patients last year. The most common injuries we see are the result of motor vehicle crashes, falls and motorcycle accidents,” said Manning. “As the Upstate’s only nationally verified Level I Trauma Center and Level II Pediatric Trauma Center, our highly trained team of specialists is prepared to handle any type of emergency at any hour of the day.”
Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the COT’s Consultation/ Verification Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the prehospital phase through the rehabilitation process.
Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance, as outlined by the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma in its current Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual.
The ACS Committee on Trauma’s verification program does not designate trauma centers. Rather, the program provides confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for all injured patients. The actual establishment and the designation of trauma centers is the function of local, regional or state healthcare systems agencies, such as the local emergency medical services (EMS) authority. Greenville Memorial has been state-designated as a Level I Trauma Center since 1998.
There are five separate categories of verification in the COT’s program. Each category has specific criteria that must be met by a facility seeking that level of verification (see page 3 for more details). Each hospital has an on-site review by a team of experienced site reviewers, who use the current Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual as a guideline in conducting the survey.
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College has over 72,000 members and it is the largest association of surgeons in the world. Longstanding achievements have placed the ACS in the forefront of American surgery and have made it an important advocate for all surgical patients.