The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has renewed Lake Regional’s certification as a Level III Trauma Center through 2024.
The Trauma Center designation is part of Missouri’s Time Critical Diagnosis System, which helps patients get the best care possible in the shortest amount of time. Hospitals that have staff and resources ready to treat these emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week can receive designation as a trauma center, a stroke center or a STEMI (heart attack) center. Lake Regional Health System is the only hospital between Columbia and Springfield that is a state-designated center for all three of these emergencies.
“Not all hospitals choose to apply for Trauma Center designation, and no hospital in Jefferson City, Lebanon or Rolla is a Trauma Center,” said Lake Regional General Surgeon John Patton, D.O., FACOS, who serves as the Trauma medical director. “This makes it even more important that Lake Regional offer these services.”
As a Level III Trauma Center, Lake Regional has acute care and trauma surgeons on call 24/7. All of the Emergency Department physicians, physician assistants and nurses complete annual trauma education and maintain trauma-specific certification. In addition, Lake Regional’s Intensive Care Unit nurses maintain a trauma-specific certification and also complete annual trauma education.
Trauma activations can be Level 1 or Level 2. A Level 1 response is the highest level of response and activates staff with various areas of expertise to respond to the patient’s bedside, including:
- Emergency Department physician
- Emergency Department nurses (two)
- Emergency Department tech
- Trauma surgeon
- Lab/Blood Bank
- Respiratory Therapy
- Operating Room team
- House supervisor (nurse manager oversees patient admissions and assignments)
- Trauma coordinator
Leading the Trauma team at Lake Regional are Dr. Patton and Mariah Swinker, R.N., who serves as the Trauma nurse coordinator. Lauryn Salts, R.N., serves as the Trauma nurse registrar.
Lake Regional Emergency Department cares for approximately 2,200 trauma patients annually, receiving patients from seven ground ambulance services and an air ambulance based at the hospital. The most common causes of trauma treated at Lake Regional are falls and motor vehicle accidents. During the tourism season, May through September, Lake Regional Emergency Department treats about 27 percent more trauma patients a month compared to the tourism offseason. Overall, the Emergency Department treats more than 36,000 patients annually.