Medical Center reaccredited as Level I pediatric trauma center
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has been reaccredited as a Level I pediatric trauma center – the highest level of certification.
Hershey Medical Center has been accredited since 1993 by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation (PTSF) as the only pediatric trauma center in south central Pennsylvania. The Medical Center is also a Level I trauma center for adults.
The pediatric reaccreditation from the PTSF took effect on Oct. 1 and lasts three years.
“This reaccreditation speaks to the high level of commitment of all members of our healthcare team, from prehospital providers to all staff who care for injured children throughout their stay,” said Amy Morgan, manager of the Pediatric Trauma Program at Penn State Children's Hospital.
In order to be accredited as a Level I pediatric trauma center, a hospital must provide multidisciplinary treatment and specialized resources for trauma patients, perform trauma research, have a surgical residency program, have an injury prevention program and care for at least 200 children with major traumatic injuries each year.
Trauma centers provide specialized medical services and resources to patients suffering from traumatic injuries. Accredited trauma centers must be prepared 24/7 to treat serious life-threatening and disabling injuries.
“In order to fulfill our mission of caring for the most seriously injured patients, we have a team of dedicated pediatric trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons, intensive care specialists, radiologists, nurses and others available around the clock to provide life-saving care,” said Dr. Brett Engbrecht, medical director of the Pediatric Trauma Program.
The most common causes of injury that bring young patients to the trauma center at Hershey Medical Center are falls and motor vehicle accidents, which often cause multiple life-threatening injuries. Other common causes of traumatic injury include gunshot wounds, assaults and burns.
The Pediatric Trauma and Injury Prevention Program at the Children's Hospital focuses on reducing the number of injured children through a range of community education initiatives.
In 2015, the Medical Center's pediatric trauma team cared for 711 patients from a ten-county area throughout south central Pennsylvania. This reflected an increase of nearly 5 percent over 2014.
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