Trauma Center at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital Hits 30-year Milestone

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CLEVELAND – May is National Trauma Awareness Month, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital’s (UH Rainbow) verification by the American College of Surgeons as a level 1 pediatric trauma center. UH Rainbow has been continuously verified level 1 for three decades, and is the only designated level 1 pediatric trauma center in northern Ohio.

The Verification Review Committee – a committee of the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) – re-verified UH Rainbow as a Level 1 trauma center this year. A level 1 pediatric trauma center offers the highest level of trauma care across the care continuum. At UH Rainbow, board-certified pediatric trauma surgeons, supported by pediatric providers and a pediatric emergency department team specially-trained in the care of injured children, are ready to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. UH Rainbow is able to support the full spectrum of trauma care from pre-hospital to rehabilitation. The ACS recognized UH Rainbow for its excellence in patient care as well as trauma research, advocacy, outreach, and education.

“We are proud to be marking the 30-year pediatric trauma center milestone with another re-verification from the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma,” said Mike Dingeldein, MD, FACS, FAAP, Pediatric Trauma Director at UH Rainbow. “The care of an injured child is an incredibly difficult job, and our team’s success is a testament to their steadfast commitment to perform at the highest level for our patients and their families.”

In addition to trauma care, UH Rainbow is a national leader in emergency medicine and pediatric preparedness for disasters and health events like the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, Health Resources and Services Administration awarded more than $48 million – the largest grant in UH Rainbow’s history – to establish a Regional Pediatric Pandemic Network. The network supports the planning and preparation of children’s hospitals to respond to global health threats, including pandemics, and support communities in everyday pediatric readiness.

Psychological and social support is an important part of a trauma patient’s care journey. The team at UH Rainbow works year-round with schools and community organizations to prevent injury and violence. A unique program – UH Antifragility Initiative – was spearheaded by UH Rainbow’s Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Edward Barksdale in the effort to end the cycle of teen gun violence in Cleveland.

In addition to support services and programs like the Antifragility Initiative, UH Rainbow’s Pediatric Trauma Center works closely with northern Ohio’s first responders and EMS professionals to be sure they are well-versed in special issues related to pediatric trauma, emergency and safe transport. “In trauma, every moment counts and teamwork becomes especially important,” says Dr. Dingeldein. “Kids are not simply small adults, which is why our talented team of nurses, surgeons, and critical support staff are specially trained to care for severely injured babies, children and teens.”

Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the COT's Consultation/Verification Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address 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 prehospital phase through the rehabilitation process.

UH Rainbow’s Level 1 pediatric trauma center is located on UH Cleveland Medical Center’s main campus, complementing UH’s coordinated regional adult trauma network which includes UH Cleveland Medical Center’s adult Level 1 trauma center, and five Level 3 trauma centers at UH Geauga, UH Parma, UH St. John, and UH Portage medical centers, as well as Southwest General Health Center in Middleburg Heights.

 

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