CHOC Hospital in Orange has been verified as a Level I pediatric trauma center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and designated by Orange County Emergency Services. CHOC is the only children’s hospital with this designation in Orange County, and the fourth in Southern California.
Level I verification is the highest possible ranking for trauma centers and recognizes CHOC’s commitment to providing the best possible care for all injured children.
To earn verification, CHOC submitted an extensive application and data. This was followed by a two-day, top-down evaluation of the CHOC trauma center by the ACS team of surgeons in October, and the reviewers found zero deficiencies. They were highly complimentary of all aspects of care, and of CHOC’s commitment to being a pediatric healthcare leader.
The Level I pediatric designation is reserved for centers that provide the highest level of care to patients. The evaluation’s criteria is extensive, requiring centers to exhibit excellence in the following: a complete call panel of board-certified physicians, prehospital care, follow-up care, education, injury prevention and research.
A huge contributor to receiving this designation, says Dr. David Gibbs, director of trauma services and division chief of pediatric surgery at CHOC, was the multidisciplinary approach that CHOC took to research. CHOC’s pediatric surgeons, nurse practitioners, nurses, physicians, administrators and scientists work synergistically to produce research that articulated the identity and philosophy of the trauma program.
“But most importantly, it’s about doing meaningful research that makes kids get better,” says Dr. Gibbs.
With its Level I designation, CHOC aspires to become a leading destination for pediatric trauma — serving its community and beyond, while partnering with other trauma centers to provide an elevated level of care for children.
Already, CHOC’s trauma center has had tremendous growth, seeing an exponential increase in pediatric trauma patients being transferred to CHOC over the past few years. The trauma team at CHOC stands ready to treat additional pediatric patients needing immediate, expert medical treatment in the future.
“CHOC already has a foundation of clinically-competent care,” says Amy Waunch, trauma program manager at CHOC. “But now as a pediatric Level I trauma center, we can be known as the place and the resource for all injured children in Southern California.”
With CHOC’s robust transport team and the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department, kids with traumatic injuries can quickly be brought to CHOC, where they will have access to on-call pediatric surgeons, state-of-the-art surgical suites and a blood bank. With these vast resources, CHOC can provide more advanced and specialized treatment to pediatric patients.
“Trauma brings specialties together to provide seamless care to kids,” says Dr. Gibbs. “We want to restore kids to health and life while keeping them from getting hurt in the first place.”
For more about CHOC’s trauma services