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CHI Health St. Elizabeth certified for General Level Trauma

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 5:25 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - After a year of training staff at CHI Health St. Elizabeth, the hospital is now certified for General Level Trauma care.

Trauma care centers are ranked from levels 1 through 5; Level 1 centers handle the most traumatic injuries and Level 5 centers do things like providing initial evaluations and transferring patients on to higher levels of care. St. Elizabeth received a “general” level certification from the state, which equates to a Level 3 trauma center. This designation means the hospital can start to take on more traumatic injuries.

“Falls, motor vehicle crashes, motorcycle crashes, we take a lot of orthopedic injuries,” said Trauma Program Coordinator, Jodi Dewitt. “Anything we can fix in surgery, neurosurgery or orthopedic surgery.”

General Level trauma certification took a year of training staff with a variety of courses. In the last year, the trauma program has seen nearly a 45% increase in trauma patients. Currently, about 20% of patients brought to the hospital are trauma patients. Dewitt said last year, trauma patients only accounted for 5% of the patient population. The certification is a bid to keep up with a growing city.

“As the city is growing, we need to be a better resource to the community, especially as the city is growing toward the east side,” said Dewitt. “Trauma care heightens what we already know. Trauma programs improve care throughout the hospital because we get back to the basics.”

St. Elizabeth’s is one of two trauma care options in Lincoln. So, gaining Level 3 certification means they can not only serve more people but also help get EMS and ambulance back out on the street sooner.

“Depending on where a trauma in Lincoln would happen, it allows ambulances to get to the hospital more quickly and get in service more quickly afterward,” said Dr. Jason Kruger, the Medical Director for EMS Systems in Lincoln.

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