University Hospitals Opens Adult Level 1 Trauma Center
by Sarah Jane Tribble
After months of controversy, University Hospitals quietly opened its Level 1 trauma center today.
UH leaders say they have spent three years planning, hiring staff and working to achieve verification from the American College of Surgeons to become the region's second adult Level 1 trauma center.
This means UH is now able to treat the most severely injured patients, often from car crashes and knife-and-gunshot wounds. The opening also marks a change in the way Northeast Ohio's trauma response will be coordinated.
For years, MetroHealth System on Cleveland's near West side has been the region's only level 1 trauma center. MetroHealth officials along with the Northern Ohio Trauma System, a network that includes the region's existing trauma centers, have strongly opposed UH's opening. Leaders say more trauma centers means more doctors getting less daily experience in trauma care and that could lead to negative outcomes and hurt patient care.
UH leaders say they have done their due diligence to assess if there is a need for the service. They say they are responding to an increased demand for emergency department and trauma services on the city's east side since the closure of Huron Hospital in 2011.