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March 5, 2009

Fisher-Titus Medical Center Receives Trauma Center Status

29981_FT_Health_Logo_Vert_4C.jpgFisher-Titus Medical Center was granted provisional status as a Level 3 Trauma Center by the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Public Safety on Monday, March 2. Fisher-Titus Medical Center is the first area hospital to have this designation.

The provisional designation comes after a consultative site visit by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Trauma Subcommittee in January and the submission of a follow-up report to the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Department of Public Safety.

A trauma center is a hospital which has the immediate availability of specialized surgeons, physician specialists, anesthesiologists, nurses, resuscitation and life support equipment, and operating rooms on a 24-hour-basis to care for severely injured patients.

"The commitment of our general surgeons and anesthesiologists to be on-call 24/7, 365 days a year along with our highly skilled team of emergency physicians and emergency department staff was critical to earning this designation,” said Patrick J. Martin, president of Fisher-Titus Medical Center. "The team is backed by our top-notch ancillary support staff and the latest medical technology to provide residents in our community and service area with the highest quality emergency care possible."

"Trauma Centers are designated as Level 1 through Level 3," said Dr. Eric Schmidt, a general surgeon, who chairs Fisher-Titus Medical Center's Trauma Committee and is medical director of Fisher-Titus Medical Center's Trauma Program. "The differences in levels are based on the depth of the resources available to treat the trauma victim.

"Specifically, Level 3 trauma centers can provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, emergency surgery, and stabilization and also arrange for possible transfer to a facility that can provide definitive trauma care," Schmidt explained.

The Ohio Trauma law establishes guidelines to identify trauma patients and selects appropriate transport destinations. The law establishes transfer guidelines between trauma centers and non-trauma hospitals effectively making Ohio an inclusive system wherein any trauma center verified by the American College of Surgeons can be a trauma transport destination. This assures patients are receiving the highest quality emergency care by experienced medical personnel.

All centers form part of a system and work together to allow for care of mass casualties and times when one center is at risk of having its resources overwhelmed by patient load or through loss of physician manpower.

"The effort to become a Level 3 Trauma Center took a tremendous commitment of resources by our board and medical staff,” said Martin. “This provisional status allows us to continue to provide services to patients who have historically been treated here. Without this designation, some patients would have needed to be transferred to trauma centers in Mansfield, Cleveland or Toledo."

Currently the closest trauma centers are in Sylvania to the north, Mansfield to the south, Westlake to the east, and Defiance to the west.

Fisher-Titus Medical Center is working to attain full verification by the American College of Surgeons in 2009. The American College of Surgeons does not designate trauma centers; instead, it sets the standards for verification and performs site visits. The designation as a Trauma Center, based upon ACS verification, is a function of the state of Ohio.