Garden Park Medical Center (GPMC) has been upgraded to a Level III Adult Trauma Center and Primary Pediatric Trauma Center (with conditions) by a survey team consisting of members of the MS Trauma Advisory Committee. The team was dispatched by the Mississippi Trauma Care System, a system established by the MS Department of Health to promote uniform, excellent patient care for individuals with serious injuries. GPMC joins only 12 other participating hospitals designated as Level III Trauma Centers in the state.* The surveyors recommended that GPMC receive the designation because the facility and staff complied with regulatory rules and standards required by the MS Trauma Center. The criteria includes: 24 hour, 7 days a week emergency department, as well as, a 24/7 surgery operating room, orthopedic trauma, anesthesiology, post anesthesiology, and intensive care unit.
Trauma Centers throughout the state of MS are dedicated to maintaining systems that provide immediate resuscitation and stabilization, definitive acute care and rehabilitation. “The ER is just the front door”, says LeAnne York, Trauma Program Manager and registered nurse. “Garden Park will now begin to see an increase in trauma patients. Many patients that would have been taken to higher level Trauma Centers prior to our Level III designation, are now going to be brought to our ED, have surgical procedures performed in our OR, spend time in our ICU and continue to recover on our Ortho-surgical floor. Rehabilitation services will intervene, as needed, to make sure the trauma patient recovers to fullest function post-injury. Dietary and nutrition services will plan meals and make sure that the trauma patient receives optimal nutrition to promote healing. All departments that participate in patient care are included in the trauma patient’s journey from injury to recovery.”
According to statistics provided by the MS Trauma Center, trauma related, accidental injuries “remain the leading cause of death for Mississippians age 1 to 44 and Mississippi ranks fourth in the nation for accidental injury deaths”. Mississippi held the number one spot in the nation for accidental injuries in 1998. As a Level III Trauma Center, Garden Park will continue to be an official site for trauma cases needing a higher level of care, involving falls, motor vehicle accidents, and sports injuries. GPMC trauma related injuries have already doubled compared to this time last year and GPMC will see an estimated 40,000 patients in the emergency room. “Although Garden Park has operated as an acute care facility for almost 40 years, the designation recognizes the systems we have in place to provide the best, quality care for patients that have incurred severe injuries. Our central location, adjacent to one of MS’ most deadly highways, benefits the community in significant ways, most notably, helping to reduce the mortality rate for trauma related injuries”, says Dr. Larry Killebrew, Garden Park’s Trauma Services Medical Director.