The American College of Surgeons has re-verified the Level II trauma center at Rapides Regional Medical Center.

The Rapides Regional Trauma Center was the first of its kind in Louisiana when it opened in 2011, and is one of just six verified trauma centers in the state.

Trauma Centers undergo re-verification every three years by an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons. Three ACS physicians visited Rapides Regional Trauma Center in August.

Verified trauma centers must meet essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance, as outlined by the American College of Surgeons. The visiting team ensures facilities provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the pre-hospital phase through the rehabilitation phase.

“It is a hospital-wide effort and it is not possible to be successful unless you have full engagement from administration, physicians and staff,” said Donna Lemoine, RN, BSN, EMT-Paramedic, the director of trauma services at RRMC. “It is an on-going process to maintain all the necessary resources, from staffing to supplies, needed to care for the most critically injured patients.”

The Rapides Regional Trauma Center has cared for nearly 19,000 patients since 2011. These patients have come from across Louisiana, as well as East Texas and West Central Mississippi. Research shows medical care is most effective when begun within 60 minutes of a traumatic injury.

“The number of patients we’ve cared for just proves there was a critical need for a trauma center in Central Louisiana,” said Lemoine.

Jeremy Timmer, M.D., is the Trauma Services Medical Director, Donna Lemoine, BSN, is the Program Director, and Bradley Tate, MSN, is the Program Manager at Rapides Regional Medical Center. The hospital also has in place four trauma registrars, trauma performance improvement coordinator, and a team of Critical Care/Trauma Services surgeons available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

All members of the trauma services team must continually undergo continuing education to remain up-to-date on the latest techniques and advances in trauma care.

The Rapides Regional Trauma Center will host its seventh annual Trauma Symposium for medical professionals on Friday, Dec. 1 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, Downtown. For more information on the symposium, call Jessica Phillips at (318) 769-5446.