St. Luke’s Becomes Biggest Network of Trauma Centers in Pa.

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Geisinger St Luke Trauma Centers

St. Luke’s announced this week that following accreditation of its trauma centers at St. Luke’s Lehighton Campus and Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital, the network has the largest network of trauma centers in Pennsylvania. (Contributed Photo)

St. Luke’s Lehighton Campus and Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital have been accredited as trauma centers by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation.

The PTSF approved the hospitals’ accreditation, effective Nov. 1, after a lengthy and in-depth review to ensure timely and appropriate care of the trauma patient is provided.

With the accreditations, St. Luke’s University Health Network now operates seven trauma centers in central eastern Pennsylvania, making it the largest network of trauma centers in Pennsylvania.

“St. Luke’s has developed the biggest network of trauma centers in the state because we are committed to bringing St. Luke’s world-class care to the communities we serve,” said Dr. Peter Thomas, Medical Director of St. Luke’s Trauma Program. “Trauma center accreditation is a major accomplishment that assures the public that our physicians and staff are fully prepared to care for patients who have been injured in serious accidents.”

Trauma centers are hospitals with resources immediately available to provide optimal care and reduce the likelihood of death or disability in patients injured in motor vehicle crashes, industrial accidents, falls and other life-threatening situations.

Both St. Luke’s Lehighton Campus, which is in Carbon County, and Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital, which is in Orwigsburg, Schuylkill County, received Level IV accreditation.

The Level IV accreditation process includes an in-depth review to ensure timely and appropriate care of the trauma patient, extensive review of nursing and physician education, and review of the physical plant and compliance with all PTSF standards, procedures and policies.

In Pennsylvania, there are four levels of trauma centers:

  • Level I trauma centers provide the highest degree of resources, with a full spectrum of specialists and must have trauma research and surgical residency programs.
  • Level II trauma centers require the same high level of care, but do not require research and residency programs.
  • Level III trauma centers are smaller community hospitals that do not require neurosurgeons and focus on stabilizing severely-injured trauma patients prior to transport to a higher-level trauma center. They may admit patients with mild and moderate injuries.
  • Level IV trauma centers provide enhanced care to injured patients within the emergency department and focus on stabilization and quick transfer to a higher-level trauma center. They may admit mildly injured patients.

“Each trauma center, regardless of its level, is an integral component of the emergency medical services (EMS) system,” the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation said in a statement.

In addition to St. Luke’s Lehighton Campus and Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital, the other hospitals in the St. Luke’s University Health Network with trauma accreditation are:

  • St. Luke’s University Hospital Bethlehem — Level I Adult Trauma Center

St. Luke’s Lehighton Campus’s accreditation will transfer to the new St. Luke’s Carbon County Campus when it opens later this year.

Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.

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