East Hawaii News

Waimea Hospital Designated Level III Trauma Center

November 26, 2013, 3:45 PM HST
* Updated November 26, 3:47 PM
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North Hawaii Community Hospital has become the third facility on the Big Island to be designated a Level III Trauma Center.

The designation indicates that the hospital offers comprehensive emergency services that include surgeons trained in trauma available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also means patients are assured 24-hour access to radiology, laboratory and anesthesia services.

The designation is established by the state Department of Health in conjunction with the American College of Surgeons.

The hospital’s ability to promptly diagnose and treat trauma cases will answer a critical need in reducing delays in treatment in North Hawaii, NHCH officials said in a statement.

“The 24/7 presence of a surgeon trained in trauma is one of the most positive steps we can take to strengthen our commitment to saving patients’ lives,” said Dr. Howard Wong, a general surgeon and medical director of NHCH’s Trauma Program.

The hospital has invited the public to attend a celebration in honor of its new designation at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, on the hospital’s front lawn.

Hilo Medical Center and Kona Community Hospital received Level III Trauma Center designations in 2011.

The four basic levels of trauma center care range from Level I to Level IV. Level I centers provide total care for all types of injuries, while Level II facilities are able to provide total care for all but the most complicated cases.

If necessary, both accept transfers from Level III centers, which provide initial care and stabilization for the most serious cases.  

There are no Level I trauma centers in Hawaii; Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu is the only Level II Trauma Center in the state.

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