The Minnesota Department of Health recently re-designated Sleepy Eye Medical Center as a level 4 trauma hospital. SEMC and staff voluntarily participated in the intense re-designation process to remain part of Minnesota’s statewide trauma system. The process included an outside review of the hospital’s resources and capabilities to care for trauma patients. SEMC met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources, and staff training. The hospital also participates in a continuous performance improvement process.
“Being designated as a trauma facility means that we, at the Sleepy Eye Medical Center, are equipped, prepared and trained to initially manage care for a trauma patient. Achieving re-designation is a testament to our ability to provide trauma care to our area, and we are pleased to continue to be able to do so,” said Naomi Weiss, RN, ED Clinical Lead and Trauma Program Manager.
For a severely injured person, the time between sustaining an injury and receiving definitive care is the most important predictor of survival—the “golden hour.” The chance of survival diminishes with time; however, a trauma system enhances the chance of survival regardless of proximity to an urban trauma hospital.
“Trauma is the third leading cause of death in Minnesota,” said MN Commissioner of Health Dr. Edward Ehlinger. “The goal of the trauma system is to decrease injured patients’ time to care by making sure their medical needs are appropriately matched with hospital resources. With the designation of SEMC as a level 4 trauma hospital, we are getting closer to our goal of ensuring that seriously injured Minnesotans have access to an organized system of trauma care wherever they are in the state.”
On average, trauma claims the lives of 2,400 Minnesotans annually. States with trauma systems have seen survival rates increase by 15 to 20 percent. Wide-scale participation on the voluntary trauma system ensures that a statewide, cooperative effort is in place to care for seriously injured patients.
Minnesota began developing a comprehensive statewide trauma system in August of 2005. Through its re-designation, SEMC recognizes the vital role that communities, ambulance services, hospitals and health care professionals play in the care and management of trauma patients.
For more information, see the Minnesota Statewide Trauma System site at http://www.health.state.mn/traumasystem/.