Children's Hospital verified as a top pediatric trauma center

Jan. 15, 2014 @ 04:14 PM

UNC Hospitals’ North Carolina Children’s Hospital has been verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I pediatric trauma center, the highest verification offered by the ACS Committee on Trauma.

The N.C. Children’s Hospital is the first Triangle hospital, and one of only two in the state, to receive ACS recognition for having the highest level of expertise in treating critically injured children, according to a UNC Medical Center announcement.

The hospital joins 40 other ACS-verified level I pediatric trauma centers across the country.

According to ACS, the only other level I pediatric trauma center in North Carolina is Brenner Children’s Hospital, part of the Wake Forest University system.

UNC sees more than 2,000 children with trauma-related injuries in the emergency department every year, and UNC admitted about 250 pediatric trauma patients in 2012.

Falls are the leading cause of pediatric trauma cases at UNC, though the second is transportation-related injuries. 

“When a child experiences a traumatic injury, minutes can be the difference between life and death,” said Dr. Kimberly Erickson, medical director of UNC’s pediatric trauma program and assistant professor of surgery and pediatrics, in a statement. “At UNC, care waits for the injured child 24/7 rather than the child having to wait for care. The pediatric trauma team can assess, stabilize, and treat life-threatening issues in the shortest time possible to give that child the best chance of survival and recovery.”

UNC prepared for the ACS site visit more than 18 months before the two-day verification visit last October, which included a detailed review of pediatric trauma cases and thorough examination of the overall program, from pre-care through rehabilitation.