Trauma Center earns national recognition

PCMH's $25 million emergency department and trauma facility, led by ECU physicians, handles patients from 29 eastern North Carolina counties and beyond. Photo by Cliff Hollis
GREENVILLE, N.C.  (Sept. 9, 2005)  —  Already holding the highest state designation, the Trauma Center at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, led by East Carolina University physicians, has received similar recognition from a national group.

PCMH has been verified as a Level I trauma center by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons.

"This verification makes an important statement to the citizens of eastern North Carolina," said Dr. Scott Sagraves, assistant professor of surgery at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU and associate director of trauma services. "It is a testament to the ongoing efforts of our pre-hospital providers and health care providers in all our hospitals to work collaboratively on a good system for injured patients in our region."

PCMH voluntarily sought the ACS verification. It is in addition to the current Level I status -- the state's highest -- conferred by the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services. PCMH has been a Level I center since 1985. During a May survey, the ACS review team identified multiple strengths and no deficiencies within the center. Center officials received the results in July.

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the Committee on Trauma's Verification/Consultation Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers that provide resources for pre-hospital, emergency department, operating room, critical, general and rehabilitative phases of care.

Nationwide, 33 states have ACS-designated Level I trauma centers; North Carolina has four. PCMH's Trauma Center is the referral facility for 20 other hospitals in a 29-county region.

Trauma injuries include motor-vehicle crash injuries, pedestrian and bicycle injuries, falls, burns, stabbings, gunshot wounds and child abuse injuries. The PCMH emergency department serves more than 50,000 patients annually; more than a third of these patients are treated for trauma. Nearly 2,500 of these injured patients require hospitalization.

The ACS is a scientific and educational association of surgeons founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve patient care. The college has 59,000 members and is the world's largest association of surgeons.

Contact: Doug Boyd | 252-744-2481