Pocahontas Memorial Hospital has officially received designation as a Level IV Trauma Center from the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services.
As a Level IV Trauma Center, PMH is now equipped with the equipment, resources, and staff to provide urgent care for critically injured patients. If more extensive care is required after evaluation, PMH has the connections to transport those patients to a different facility.
The process of becoming a Trauma Center is a voluntary one and this designation represents a commitment by Pocahontas Memorial Hospital to provide the highest level of care possible to the residents and visitors of Pocahontas County. The hospital's administrative and medical staff went through an extensive application process to receive the designation. Doctors and nursing staff who will be caring for critically injured patients have had to take special training in dealing with such cases.
"Studies have demonstrated that injured patients treated in designated trauma centers have better outcomes than injured patients treated in non-trauma hospitals, even for small rural hospitals. Our goal at PMH is to provide our patients with excellent health care and by achieving Level IV trauma designation, we are living this commitment one step at a time," said Kerrie Ridgeway, chief nursing officer at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital.
The criteria for designation as a trauma center were set by the American College of Surgeons, a scientific and educational association of surgeons established in 1913 with the goal of raising the standards of surgical care and education. The ACS is the largest association of surgeons in the world. West Virginia currently has four levels of designation from I to IV. Each separate category has different criteria which must be met by a facility seeking that designation.