Q. What is a trauma center and how is it different from a typical Louisiana hospital?
A. Louisiana (like many states) restricts the use of the “trauma center” label to hospitals that have 1) put in place significant organizational structures and operational resources to consistently address the needs of seriously injured patients, 2) successfully completed the trauma center verification process offered by the American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma, and 3) obtained a state-issued trauma center certification.
Q. If I am seriously injured, how can I make sure that I get to a hospital that has the resources to address my injuries?
A. Most of the hospitals and EMS entities in Louisiana have agreements in place with LERN to participate in Louisiana’s statewide trauma network. These participation agreements include the use of standard protocols to identify patients at serious risk due to traumatic injury. The participation agreements also require collaboration with LERN’s Communications Center to identify the nearest hospital with the resources available to address the needs of seriously injured patients.
Q. What is the difference between the statewide trauma system and the 911 emergency telephone service?
A. 911 and statewide trauma systems are complementary services. The 911 emergency telephone service is used by citizens to request needed emergency assistance – fire, police, and medical. The statewide trauma system is a cooperative effort between the 911 emergency telephone service, participating EMS entities and hospital organizations, and the LERN organization (governing board, regional commissions, and professional staff) to continuously improve the effectiveness of trauma care provided in Louisiana.