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St. Mark’s Hospital recently achieved designation as a Level III Trauma Center from the Utah Department of Health. With this designation, the hospital is set to become a more integral part of Utah’s specialty trauma care system, a coordinated approach to reducing unnecessary disabilities and deaths from traumatic injuries through cooperation of all healthcare providers statewide.
A few years ago, the trauma care coordinator for Utah approached St. Mark’s Hospital administrators regarding the need for and desirability of a Level III Trauma Center in the Salt Lake Valley. Since that time, the hospital’s trauma team has established or enhanced all of the resources essential to delivering comprehensive care to someone who is acutely injured.
“We looked at that inquiry as an opportunity to initiate hospital-wide improvements that now enable us to take even better care of patients who experience a traumatic injury,” said Rod McKinlay, M.D., trauma service medical director at St. Mark’s Hospital. “Earning Level III designation also helps us to prepare for delivering trauma care in the event of a natural disaster or issue that affects the entire community.”
People who are severely injured need fast access to specialized treatment, resources and equipment to prevent death and/or permanent disabilities. In fact, CDC-supported research demonstrated a 25 percent reduction in deaths when patients with serious injuries are quickly transported and treated at a trauma center. For this reason, the trauma care experts at St. Mark’s Hospital work closely with their partners in the field, emergency medical service providers, to deliver coordinated, specialized treatment to patients who need Level III trauma care.
“Our ED doctors and local EMS providers are grateful that we’ve been designated as a Level III Trauma Center,” said Julie Fox, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at St. Mark’s. “It means that more critically injured victims of car and motorcycle crashes, skiing and snowboarding mishaps, falls and other misfortunes will now have a better chance for survival and recovery.”
St. Mark’s trauma team worked with the Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services to satisfy every component outlined by the state as essential or desirable for a Level III Trauma Center.