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Charlotte, N.C., Aug. 10 – Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center announced today that the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services has officially designated the hospital as a level III trauma center. This achievement recognizes that Presbyterian Medical Center meets the state criteria to provide around-the-clock assessment, resuscitation, stabilization and life-saving intervention to patients experiencing traumatic injury.
“Presbyterian Medical Center has a long tradition of providing high-quality care for trauma patients in our community,” said Dr. Sidney Fletcher, senior vice president of medical affairs in Charlotte. “This designation validates the exceptional care we provide and allows the 1 million residents of Mecklenburg County and the 2.4 million residents of our surrounding counties a choice for their trauma care.”
Before 2013, Presbyterian Medical Center had been treating trauma victims transported by Mecklenburg Emergency Medical Services Agency, but a change in the agency’s transportation protocols required that a hospital have a designation in order to receive trauma patients. Securing this designation enables Presbyterian Medical Center to once again provide residents across the region access to trauma care, including existing Novant Health patients. Now patients at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, Novant Health Matthews Medical Center and Novant Health Rowan Medical Center who require trauma care can be directly transferred to Presbyterian Medical Center. Previously, those individuals were referred to another trauma center. The hospital also has a helipad that allows patients to arrive via emergency air transport.
To achieve state designation, Presbyterian Medical Center was required to meet stringent regulations and establish all of the protocol and resources essential to delivering optimal care to a patient with a traumatic injury. Additionally, each member of the trauma team fulfilled specialized trauma-related education requirements.
“Our trauma team is extremely skilled in caring for severely injured patients,” says trauma medical director and board- certified surgeon, Dr. Sandra Giller, who leads the team of emergency medicine physicians, nurses, trauma surgeons and medical specialists. “This designation means that critically injured victims of car and motorcycle accidents, falls and other misfortunes now have another option for trauma care in this area.”
“With our new trauma designation, we anticipate treating between 1,500 and 2,500 trauma patients in the next year,” Dr. Giller said. In 2015, over 73,000 patients visited the emergency department at Presbyterian Medical Center, with 563 of these visits classified as trauma. The top trauma admissions at Presbyterian Medical Center last year were elderly falls, motor vehicle collision injuries, injuries sustained by pedestrians struck by a car and firearm wounds.
Presbyterian Medical Center is the first Novant Health facility to receive a trauma designation and is the 14th designated trauma center in the state.