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State Approves SMH Trauma Center

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Sarasota Memorial Hospital Trauma BaysSARASOTA, Fla. (May 1, 2015) – May 1 marked a historic milestone at Sarasota Memorial – the hospital received provisional approval to become Sarasota County’s first designated trauma center.

The Florida Department of Health designation as a Level II trauma center means people who suffer life threatening accidents and injuries in Sarasota County can be transported to their local hospital rather than be airlifted to a state-designated trauma center in another community.

“In cases of trauma, every second counts – with this designation, we now can assure the people of our community that they can be treated right here, right away,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder. 

To earn the Level II designation, Sarasota Memorial assembled a team of highly specialized trauma surgeons, emergency physicians, subspecialists, trauma and intensive care nurses and rehabilitation specialists who stand ready 24/7 to provide immediate life-saving care. 

The hospital also invested more than $3.5 million to upgrade two trauma resuscitation rooms in the ER and its trauma operating suite. 

During the next year, state officials will continue an in-depth review of Sarasota Memorial’s trauma program and conduct a site visit to confirm the hospital meets all standards for a Level II trauma center.

Sarasota Memorial expects to receive about 500 new trauma patients this year, in addition to 200-300 per year the hospital treated previously whenever conditions made it unsafe for helicopters or ambulances to transport trauma patients to another region.

To prepare for the extra volume, the hospital has been holding ongoing training sessions and simulation drills for several months leading up to opening day. The drills include high-pressure situations such as car accidents, serious falls, gunshot victims and stabbing victims.

“We are very proud of our trauma team and the work they have done to prepare for this day,” Verinder said. “It takes extraordinary passion, dedication and a multi-disciplinary team to respond 24/7, 365 days a year to these kinds of complex emergencies.”

About Sarasota Memorial: 
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of inpatient, outpatient and extended care services, with more than 700,000 patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s 819-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly for superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care walk-in clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation.

Media Contact:
Kim Savage
Phone: (941) 917-6271 / 893-7649

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