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May 28, 2022

Hazel Hawkins gains Level Four trauma designation

Local hospital to offer more treatment for trauma patients

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital announced this week that effective Jan. 1, the hospital will be formally designated by San Benito County Emergency Medical Services as a Level IV Trauma Center.

Not only has Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital met or exceeded California Trauma Regulations outlined in the California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Chapter 7, but it is also fulfilling the current national American College of Surgeon standards related to the Level IV Trauma Designation, says a press release from Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital. This designation represents a collaborative effort to enhance the care of seriously injured persons in San Benito County. 

A Level IV Trauma Center has demonstrated an ability to provide advanced trauma life support (ATLS) prior to transfer of patients to a higher level trauma center, the press release says. It provides evaluation, stabilization and diagnostic capabilities for injured patients. Elements of Level IV Trauma Centers include:

– Basic emergency department facilities to implement ATLS protocols and 24-hour laboratory coverage. Available trauma nurse(s) and physicians available upon patient arrival.

– May provide surgery and critical-care services if available.  

– Has developed transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care at a Level I or Level II Trauma Center. 

– Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program.

– Involved with prevention efforts and must have an active outreach program for its referring communities. 

According to Michael Bogey, M.D., Chief of Emergency Medicine at HHMH, the benefits of becoming a Level IV trauma center are:     

– Greater benefits to the community as we can treat more trauma patients here in our community.

– Better education – part of being a trauma center is educating the community on safety and how to avoid trauma.

– Better care for our patients as we have benchmarks that must be met in order to improve patient outcomes.

“Our team has worked diligently on the trauma program and has undergone extensive training over the past four years, elevating the care in our Emergency Department,” said Steve Hannah, HHMH CEO. “The Level 4 Trauma designation is an important next step in serving the healthcare needs of our growing community.”  

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