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Douglas County Hospital re-designated as level 3 trauma hospital by state

To continue helping trauma patients in Minnesota, trauma being the third leading cause of death in Minnesota, the Douglas County Hospital was re-designated as a level 3 trauma hospital. (Contributed photo)

Douglas County Hospital (DCH) was recently re-designated as a level 3 trauma hospital by The Minnesota Department of Health.

"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," said Dr. Edward Ehlinger, Minnesota Commissioner of Health.

DCH first received the level 3 designation in 2009, but to ensure that programs remain up-to-date, all hospitals must be reaccredited every three years.

The comprehensive designation process, which included an outside review of the hospital's resources and capabilities to care for trauma patients, ensures that DCH remains a part of the level 3 trauma program. It met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources, as well as staff training.

For a severely injured person, the time between sustaining an injury and receiving definitive care is the most important predictor of survival. The chance of a positive outcome diminishes with time. However, access to a trauma system increases a patient's likelihood of survival.

On average, trauma claims the lives of 2,400 Minnesotans annually. States with trauma systems in place have seen survival rates increase by 15 to 20 percent. Wide-scale participation in the voluntary trauma system ensures that a statewide, cooperative effort is in place to care for seriously injured patients.

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