June 25, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital again has been verified as a Level 1 trauma center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). UAB Hospital is the only adult Level 1 trauma center verified by the ACS in the state of Alabama, holding that distinction since 2000.
The Alabama Department of Public Health designates hospitals as trauma centers and honors the rigorous verification process of the ACS. Three other Alabama hospitals have met the state's requirements for designation as Level 1 trauma centers, using modified ACS criteria, but only UAB has the distinction of ACS verification.
The ACS cited several strengths of the UAB program in its latest site review, including the leadership of Loring Rue, M.D., chief of the Section of Trauma, Burns and Surgical Critical Care; Sherry Melton, M.D., trauma medical director; and Holly Waller, R.N., trauma program manager. Melton was named trauma medical director in February.
"We have an outstanding cadre of trauma surgeons who serve UAB, our local community and the state at large," said Rue. "UAB is recognized as a leader in trauma care in the Southeast and is contributing to the efforts to develop a comprehensive statewide network for emergency response and trauma care. I am appreciative of the leadership of Dr. Melton and Holly Waller who successfully guided us through the verification process."
The ACS also made special note of the commitment of neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery to the trauma program, the involvement of the state trauma system and the overall level of care provided as program strengths.
ACS-verified trauma centers must meet essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance as outlined by the ACS's Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual. These include resources to care for the injured patient from injury through rehabilitation; availability of specialists from orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery and plastic surgery; an in-house trauma surgeon around the clock; and a commitment to professional education, injury prevention and research.
About the UAB Trauma Program
The Section of Trauma, Burns and Surgical Critical Care works closely with the Divisions of Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Urology. Together with the regional and statewide EMS (emergency medical services) program, the section provides a comprehensive multidisciplinary program of care for the severely injured multisystem trauma or burn victim.