CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – WakeMed Cary was approved Tuesday to become the Triangle’s latest trauma center.
The North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services voted to designate WakeMed Cary as a Level III trauma center.
Wake County alone now has two trauma centers. WakeMed Raleigh, located on New Bern Avenue, is a Level I trauma center.
WakeMed Cary’s designation follows an on-site survey in May and years of work by a team from WakeMed’s Cary and Raleigh campuses, the hospital said.
“We initially thought that having a trauma program in Cary would offset some of the trauma patients that presented to Raleigh Campus. However, as the Cary trauma registry increases, there has not been a significant decrease in Raleigh Campus. This shows the obvious service need WakeMed is fulfilling for the community,” said Rhonda Vincent, Trauma Clinical Nurse Specialist.
WakeMed Raleigh became a Level I trauma center in 2006, moving up from a Level II center.
Other Level I trauma centers in the Triangle include Duke University Hospital in Durham and UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill.
North Carolina has a total of six Level I trauma centers and 17 total trauma centers.
A hospital’s trauma center level designation is dependant on the resources available at that hospital along with the number of patients admitted yearly, WakeMed said.
A Level III trauma center includes the following essential elements, per the American Trauma Society:
- 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians and prompt availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists
- Comprehensive quality assessment program
- Transfer agreements for patient requiring more comprehensive care at a Level I or II Trauma Center (WakeMed Raleigh Campus)
- Provide back-up care for rural and community hospitals
- Offers continued education for nursing and allied health staff or trauma team members.
- Involved in prevention efforts through an active community outreach program for referring communities
“This designation supports Cary Hospital’s commitment to offering the highest-quality health care, closer to home. Western and southwest Wake County and surrounding communities will continue to benefit greatly with the addition of Cary Hospital’s trauma services,” added Tom Gough, senior vice president and administrator. “I want to send a special thank you to the entire team that has put hours of time and effort into bringing trauma services to Cary Hospital.”
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