State health officials have designated Tufts Medical Center a “level one’’ trauma center, an elite designation that could bring more prestige and potentially more patients to the Boston teaching hospital.
Tufts won approval despite opposition from other Boston teaching hospitals. Surgery chiefs at four of Tufts’ competitors questioned whether the city needs another top trauma center and asked public health officials to delay their decision until a comprehensive review of the state’s trauma system is complete. See a previous story on the dispute.
The American College of Surgeons gave initial approval, which was endorsed by the Department of Public Health. To become a level one trauma center, a hospital must prove it treats more than 1,200 trauma patients a year or about 250 severely injured patients, and conduct top-flight research.
“This designation is an important landmark for our trauma center and Medical Center, as it reflects the expertise of our highly-experienced medical staff and the comprehensive, state-of-the-art medical care we provide to our trauma patients,” said Dr. Reuven Rabinovici, chief of the division of trauma and acute care surgery. “Injuries are the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 44 and receiving care at a Level 1 trauma center can decrease the likelihood of fatality from trauma by 25 percent. Earning the highest level of certification by the American College of Surgeons affirms our ability to care for patients suffering from all levels of injuries, including those that are most life-threatening.”