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MUSC's trauma program first in state to receive confirmation

After an extensive review by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), MUSC's trauma program was verified as a Level 1 Trauma Center. This verification is the highest level any trauma program in the country can achieve.

"In fact, our Level 1 Trauma Program is the only one in the state to have received national trauma verification at any level," said Bruce Crookes, M.D., associate professor and trauma medical director. "Achieving this recognition required total commitment from the entire hospital, and it means our patients can expect the highest level of care available at any time, day or night."

The ACS Level 1 verification differs from the status designated by the state of South Carolina.

The actual establishment and designation of trauma centers is the function of local, regional or state agencies. ACS verification provides confirmation that a hospital has demonstrated the ability to provide the highest quality trauma care. The process requires an on-site review by ACS surgeons and a verification committee review.

Only after meeting hundreds of demanding criteria is a hospital awarded this distinction. ACS surveyors found no deficiencies in MUSC's trauma program when visiting in November 2011.

MUSC's trauma team is staffed around the clock, led by a trauma surgeon with board certification in both surgery and surgical critical care, and a team of highly trained personnel from the emergency room, operating room, intensive care, radiology, blood bank and respiratory therapy.

Trauma centerTrauma medical director Dr. Bruce A. Crookes and his team prepare for emergency surgery at 1:20 by Tyrone Walker and the Post and Courier

Physicians from more than 10 specialties are all immediately available. MUSC treats approximately 2,100 trauma patients each year and participates in trauma-related research, community outreach and education, and injury prevention activities.

"MUSC is prepared 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to offer immediate care for life and limb-threatening injuries," said Crookes. "We provide trauma patients with instant access to the most advanced technology, surgical suites and critical care services, which can make all the difference in saving lives and decreasing disabilities."

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that patients treated at Level 1 trauma centers fare significantly better than those with comparable injuries who are treated at non-trauma centers. Findings showed Level 1 trauma centers can lower the risk of death for severely injured patients by 25 percent.

"The closest hospital with an emergency room may not be the best place to take a trauma patient. For a seriously injured patient, transport to a Level 1 center such as MUSC can increase his or her chances at survival," said Crookes.



Friday, March 2, 2012

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.