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Douglas County Hospital now designated as level 3 trauma hospital

The Minnesota Department of Health recently designated Douglas County Hospital as a level 3 trauma hospital. Douglas County Hospital and staff voluntarily participated in the intense designation process to become part of Minnesota's statewide tra...

The Minnesota Department of Health recently designated Douglas County Hospital as a level 3 trauma hospital.

Douglas County Hospital and staff voluntarily participated in the intense designation process to become 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. Douglas County Hospital met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources and staff training. The hospital also participates in a continuous performance improvement process.

According to Bill Flaig, Douglas County Hospital administrator, this trauma center designation was made possible through the hard work of a dedicated team of hospital emergency physicians and nurses.

Having a trauma system will help the hospital coordinate the movement and care of severely injured people and will enhance the chance of survival for the patients served, according to Flaig.

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Douglas County Hospital has approximately 14,000 emergency visits per year and is staffed with experienced, emergency-trained physicians and nurses 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Barb Friederichs, RN, senior clinical director, trauma program coordinator at Douglas County Hospital, added, "We are excited to obtain a level 3 designation for the Alexandria area. Based upon the state wide trauma system's response plan, Douglas County Hospital can assure the community of the highest quality trauma care within the state. The ultimate goal is to achieve the best outcome for severely injured patients."

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 Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Sanne Magnan. "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 Douglas County Hospital as a level 3 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 in 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.

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For more information, see the Minnesota statewide Trauma System website at http://www.health.state .

mn.us/traumasystem.

Related Topics: HEALTH
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