Summit Pacific Medical Center has been upgraded to a Level 4 trauma center by the state Department of Health.
The designation process is voluntary. Facilities applying for trauma center status must earn the title by meeting a list of criteria established for Levels 1 through 4. The levels are based on a hospital’s resources and capabilities, Level 1 being facilities that provide the most resources and widest variety of care capabilities.
The only Level 1 trauma center in the state is Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia and Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen hold Level 3 trauma center designations. Tacoma General Hospital and St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma have the Level 2 designation.
“It is a great achievement to be designated a Level 4 trauma center,” said Brenda West, the Elma facility’s clinical officer and quality director. “The staff and physicians worked very hard to make this happen.”
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The designation means Summit Pacific Medical Center has demonstrated the ability to provide advanced trauma life support prior to transfer of patients to a higher-level trauma center either by ambulance or helicopter.
Other changes that resulted in the new designation include: an increase in trauma-related training, blood banking capability, policies and procedures for massive transfusions, on-call orthopedic surgery services and physical therapy services, as well as initial and maintenance training of airway management skills for emergency personnel.