VCU Medical only ‘Level 1’ trauma center in Central Virginia

Posted at 8:37 PM, Sep 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-16 20:37:55-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--VCU's Medical Center has the only Level 1 trauma center in Central Virginia.

In the wake of Monday's deadly shooting, CBS 6 toured the newly constructed advanced trauma resuscitation room. This gave us a first-hand look at how well-equipped  ER doctors are able to treat patients should something the Washington Navy Yard happen in our area.

The advanced trauma and resuscitation room is just one part of a $37 million overhaul to the VCU Medical Center's ER department.

Officials there say the facility is almost four times larger than the former space. It is uniquely designed to handle mass trauma  events such as those caused by natural disasters, large-scale accidents and terrorist attacks.

The trauma center treats more than 4,000 injured patients each year.

The trauma designation process is voluntary and intended to identify the varying levels of capability available at participating hospitals. Virginia assigns three designation levels.

    • Level I Centers – In addition to 24-hour, on-site surgical staff and dedicated operating rooms, round-the-clock access to laboratory services and sub-specialties including, cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, anesthesiology and radiology must also be available.
    • Level II Centers – typically based in community hospitals – are not required to have designated resources on-site 24-hours a day. For example, surgeons must be promptly available at all times, but may not always be at the hospital. Unlike Level I, Level II Centers are not required to offer constant access to cardiac or pediatric surgeons.
    • Level III Centers – generally found in rural communities – can provide quick assessment, stabilization and some surgical intervention for patients. A general surgeon is required to be promptly available, but no other surgical specialties are mandated.