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The Value of UH Cleveland Medical Center as a Level I Trauma Center

Recent certification by American College of Surgeons an important milestone

UH Clinical Update - January 2018

By Krystal Tomei, MD 
Pediatric Neurosurgeon, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Krystal Tomei, MD

Injury is the leading cause of death of individuals age 1 to 44 in Ohio and is the fifth leading cause of death in Ohio for all ages. Motor vehicle collisions, falls and assaults rank among the top three causes of these injury-related deaths. In the U.S., 20,000 children die from trauma each year and 50,000 are permanently disabled. These life-changing events are unexpected and require both a rapid response and integrated network of care to provide the best outcomes to these patients. In fact, Level I trauma centers have been shown to have improved survival in patients suffering traumatic injuries, as well as better functional outcomes than other trauma centers.

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) reviews trauma centers across the country for a voluntary, yet rigorous, verification process, assigning ACS verification to those centers that meet criteria including: the number and type of available subspecialists, the immediate availability of attending trauma surgeons and operating rooms, transfer guidelines, availability of ancillary services including bloodbank and pharmacy, among many other requirements. Level I trauma centers are also expected to serve as a leader in trauma education, community outreach and research.

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center received full verification as a Level I trauma center in June 2017, joining UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, which has served as Northern Ohio’s only Level I verified pediatric trauma center for 25 years.

Being an ACS-verified Level I trauma center also means that we are committed to providing the highest quality of care, which fits perfectly with University Hospitals’ commitment to being a provider of high- reliability medicine.

University Hospitals is committed to caring for patients from birth to their golden years. The development of UH Cleveland Medical Center as a Level I trauma center, in addition to Rainbow’s pediatric trauma center, ensures that we can provide the spectrum of high-quality trauma care to all ages.

In addition to UH Cleveland Medical Center and Rainbow, University Hospitals has a strong integrated trauma network, including the Level III trauma centers at UH Geauga Medical Center, Southwest General Health Center, UH St. John Medical Center and UH Portage Medical Center. By creating this network, the trauma services have been able to share best practices across the system and optimize triage of these critically ill patients.


For more information regarding the UH Trauma Network, please contact, RN, MSN, Trauma Program Manager for the UH Cleveland Medical Center Adult Trauma Center, or, BSN, RN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.