Blessing Hospital redesignated as a Level II Trauma Center

 Blessing Hospital redesignated as a Level II Trauma Center

Blessing Hospital has been redesignated as a Level II Trauma Center through July 2010 by the State of Illinois Department of Public Health. The redesignation certifies the ability of the Hospital and skills of its staff in caring for traumatically injured patients.

A Level II Trauma Center meets strict state guidelines regarding available medical equipment and staff qualifications. Trauma Centers provide comprehensive care, and as part of the State’s trauma communications and transportation network, can quickly transfer patients if needed to the facility providing the level of medical care most appropriate for the case.

A trauma patient is one who has sustained specific injuries, including penetrating injuries to head, neck, chest or abdomen, and/or shows signs of shock. A patient could

also be declared to have suffered trauma based on the force involved in their injury or the way they were injured. This would include falls over 20 feet, certain motor vehicle accidents occurring at greater than 40 miles an hour, persons ejected from a vehicle, or pedestrians hit by cars. Blessing Hospital treated 272 trauma patients in 2007. As of May 9, 2008, 53 trauma patients have been treated at Blessing.

Trauma care most often begins when a critically injured person arrives in Blessing’s Emergency Center. Working on the staff are nearly 90 professionals including nine emergency physicians, the majority of whom are Board certified in Emergency Medicine, and 41 registered nurses, 25 of whom hold Illinois Trauma Nurse Specialist certification.

Blessing’s Trauma service is lead by Christian Zwick, D.O., surgeon, Quincy Medical Group, who serves as the Trauma Service Medical Director.

“We are extremely proud of our Trauma service. Our group of physicians, nurses and administrative personnel are dedicated to quality care in treating injured patients,” said Dr. Zwick. “The people of this region can rest assured that Blessing Hospital excels in this category of patient care”

Many trauma patients require emergency surgery. Along with Dr. Zwick, other trauma surgeons are available 24 hours a day, seven days week to respond to Blessing Hospital within 30 minutes of arrival of a trauma patient. These trauma surgeons include William Birsic, M.D., Blessing Physician Services; and Todd Petty, M.D., and Tim Smith, D.O., Quincy Medical Group. James Kase, M.D., Quincy Cardiothoracic Specialists, serves as a back-up on-call trauma surgeon. Also on the Blessing Medical Staff are orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and facial plastic surgeons. These specialists are often called upon in trauma cases.

“Over the past two years, some hospitals have discontinued their trauma centers,” said Michael Richard, R.N., Trauma Coordinator, Blessing Hospital. “Dr. Zwick and the other trauma and specialty surgeons, and Blessing Hospital, should be commended for the commitment of financial and human resources required to maintain the trauma service in Quincy.”

Blessing was among the first hospitals to join the State’s Trauma Center program when it began in 1988.