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CONTACT: DEAN BORG
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 356-2731
e-mail: eldean-borg@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

UIHC is designated Level 1 Trauma Care Facility by Department of Public Health

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa State Department of Public Health has notified the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) that it has been designated a Resource (Level 1) Trauma Care Facility in Iowa.

That designation is the highest category in the new Iowa Trauma Care Delivery System currently being organized by the Iowa Department of Public Health, according to Gerald Kealey, director of the UIHC trauma service. The goal is to match an injured patient's needs to existing resources so that the patient receives whatever trauma care is necessary in a cost-effective system, he said.

Under the new system, Resource Trauma Centers --such as University Hospitals -- provide a full range of comprehensive surgical and critical care for trauma patients. These centers also have extensive research capabilities.

The next level -- Regional Trauma Care Facilities -- are primarily located in urban areas and have resources for surgical and critical care, but may transfer patients to Resource Trauma Centers for specialized care such as burns.

A third level -- Area Trauma Care Facilities -- have resources to stabilize trauma patients and may provide some surgical and critical care with an option, when necessary, to transfer patients to a Resource or Regional Care Facility.

The fourth level -- Community Trauma Care Facilities -- are most often located in rural areas. Community Trauma Centers have resources to stabilize patients while preparing them for transfer to a center with the resources for the level of trauma care required by each patient.

All Iowa hospitals, ambulance services and rehabilitation centers are participating in the new Iowa trauma system. Currently, hospitals are being evaluated to verify their level of trauma care. The new system will be operational Jan. 1, 2001.

The verification of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for the top category -- a Resource Trauma Care Facility -- follows a similar verification by the American College of Surgeons. That organization sent two inspection teams to UIHC during 1997 and later verified UIHC qualified as a Level 1 Trauma Center.

4/21/98