UCHealth Memorial Central

UCHealth Memorial Central (Courtesy photo)

UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central’s Level I trauma center designation has been renewed — one year after it became the only non-Denver area facility with the state’s highest status.

The hospital received its designation in April 2018, which “recognizes the hospital has the ability to treat severe and complex injuries, giving southern Colorado residents rapid access to top-level emergency and trauma care without having to go to Denver,” a UCHealth release says.

Reviewers noted “multiple strengths, including the hospital’s neurosurgery capabilities and its comprehensive injury prevention program” after a two-day visit by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the release says.

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After a hospital becomes a Level I trauma center, a site visit is required within 18 months to maintain the designation, said UCHealth spokeswoman Cary Vogrin. Now that the designation has been renewed, a visit won’t be required for another three years, she said.

“Hospital trauma designations are determined according to varying criteria, including medical resources and patient volumes,” the release says. “Key elements required to be a Level I Trauma Center include around-the-clock coverage by trauma surgeons and prompt availability of specialists in orthopedics and neurosurgery ... among others. Such facilities also must be leaders in trauma prevention and education, conduct research and meet volume requirements for treating severely injured patients.”

Memorial Hospital Cen-tral has the state’s busiest emergency department, the release says. The hospital provided care to to nearly 110,000 people last year, more than 2,500 of whom met trauma registry inclusion criteria. The majority of trauma cases involve blunt injuries from incidents such as motor vehicle crashes or falls.

Other hospitals in Colorado with Level I trauma units are Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood and UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora has a similar designation.

Ellie is a general assignment reporter. She's a proud Midwesterner, stationery hoarder and Earl Grey tea enthusiast. After interning at The Gazette in 2015, she joined the newspaper's staff in 2016.

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