Marin County’s relationship with Marin General Hospital was just extended by a decade as officials inked a 10-year pact with the hospital for trauma services.
“We are delighted that the county has signaled its confidence in the trauma care we deliver. Our partnership with Marin County Emergency Medical Services means that we will continue to provide high quality trauma care for all of Marin County,” said Mary Jane Boyd, director of trauma services at Marin General Hospital (MGH). “As a community hospital, we are committed to meeting the healthcare needs of Marin County residents. Being able to access trauma care close to home may well be a life or death matter, so we maintain a team of board certified emergency physicians, experienced emergency nurses, and other specially trained staff who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our trauma surgeons are all experienced in trauma surgery and are certified in Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS).”
MGH also was recently re-verified as a Level III Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The action recognizes that the hospital’s trauma center has all the capabilities listed in Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient, and confirms the hospital’s dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.
The verification process, established in 1987 and conducted by an ad hoc committee within the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT), is designed to promote the development of trauma centers that provide the full spectrum of care to address injured patient needs, from pre-hospitalization through rehabilitation.
MGH first received ACS verification in 2009, the first center in California and only hospital in Marin to voluntarily achieve this distinction. The COT does not designate trauma centers, which in Marin County is the function of the Marin County Emergency Medical Service. Instead, the ACS verification program provides confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest quality trauma care.
There are five separate categories of verification in the COT's program, each of which has specific criteria that must be met. To receive verification for one of the five levels, hospitals undergo an on-site review by a team of experienced site reviewers, who use the current Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual as a guide.
“Marin General Hospital functions more like a Level II Trauma Center than a Level III,” says Dr. Edward Alfrey, medical director of the Trauma Center. “For example, we have experienced neurosurgeons available 24/7, and the majority of patients requiring urgent or emergent surgery can be treated at Marin General, which matches the Level II requirement.”
Experienced trauma care is an important need for people of all ages in our community. Injury is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 44 in the US. Injury is also a major factor for seniors 65+ with more than one third experiencing falls annually. In addition, one third of all emergency department visits result from injury and eight percent of all hospital admissions.
“With the hospital’s full array of emergency services, including its Accredited Chest Pain Center and Primary Stroke Center designation, Marin residents requiring emergency care can confidently receive their care locally,” says Dr. Alfrey. “It’s critical to understand that the first hour after an injury or trauma is the most critical (the Golden Hour)—quick assessment and treatment can save lives and prevent permanent disability. MGH has the system to provide exceptional trauma care right here in Marin.”