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EIRMC is Tops In Trauma, Scores Idaho's Highest Rating

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho-- Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center has been given the only Level II trauma center designation in the state.

If you are involved in a three-car pileup on Interstate 15 and suffer life-threatening injuries, a national organization says EIRMC is the best-equipped hospital in Idaho to treat you.

The hospital has been upgraded by the American College of Surgeons to a Level II trauma center, making Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center the only Idaho hospital to receive the designation. The certification validates that the hospital has the necessary resources to treat most trauma cases.

Hospital officials said they ve been working toward becoming a Level II center for the past 10 years, boosting the number of specialties offered there so it would qualify.

This (trauma center) can save lives, said Dr. Brian O Bryne, EIRMC s trauma director. We re very excited.

EIRMC treats about 1,200 trauma victims a year and serves a roughly 250-mile radius - from Island Park and West Yellowstone, Mont., to towns near the Idaho/Utah border.

It handles all kinds of trauma, including stab wounds, gun shots and car accidents.

Nancy Browne, an EIRMC spokeswoman, hopes people realize the significance of the trauma center s new designation. (It earned Level III certification in 2004.)

People can have top-notch medical care right here in their own backyard, she said.

The trauma center is separate from the hospital s emergency room.

Here s how it works:

  • When paramedics respond to a call, they assess injuries and call EIRMC to report the severity.
  • If it s a trauma case, the action kicks in. Members of the hospital s trauma team are paged, and an array of surgeons, lab technologists, respiratory therapists and other specialists meet the victim as he or she arrives. Depending on the injuries, as many as 15 professionals may respond.

That team approach is what sets a trauma center apart, O Bryne said. It ensures victims receive the fastest care available.

What makes a trauma center different from an emergency room is the coordination involved, O Bryne said.

Karla Bryan, EIRMC s trauma coordinator for the past six years, is optimistic that the team approach is helping save more lives. Before the hospital became a trauma center, she said, it took a lot of time to assemble the needed professionals.

This (recognition) is proof that we do give excellent trauma care, she said.

Trauma facts

Trauma is a severe injury caused by physical force, such as a car crash or gunshot wound.

It s the most common cause of death between the ages of 1 and 45.

Almost 100,000 people die each year from trauma injuries in the United States. (Half are from motor vehicle crashes.)

Source: Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center

Did you know?

The American College of Surgeons recognizes trauma centers by levels.

Level I: Required to do research. Burn, pediatric and a variety of other specialties are housed in the hospital.

Level II: Research isn t performed. The majority of specialties are housed inside the hospital.

Level III: Usually the patient has to be transported after being stabilized.

Level IV: Frequently, only physician assistants or nurse practitioners are available to stabilize the victim. The patient has to be transported after being stabilized.

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