Level I Trauma Center

Iowa Methodist Medical Center is one of two Level I Trauma Centers in the state of Iowa - the other being the University of Iowa Hospital. Level I is the highest verification offered by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma.

Level I Trauma Center Des Moines, IA

In order to be verified as a Level I Trauma Center by the ACS, the hospital must meet specific national criteria and standards of care recommended by the ACS. The criteria includes having the capabilities to staff the Emergency Room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, along with Trauma Surgeons available within 15 minutes of patient arrival. In addition, research and injury programs are a key component to the comprehensive trauma care.

Saving Lives

As a Level I Trauma Center, Iowa Methodist has the specialists, the experience and the equipment necessary to save lives in an emergency. Research shows treatment of severe injuries at a Level I Trauma Center lowers a patient's risk of death by 25 percent.

To be a Level I Trauma Center, it takes a team approach to patient care. The trauma team includes members from many departments such as:

  • Adult and Pediatric Emergency Departments
  • Blood Bank
  • Critical Care and Pediatric Intensive Care Units
  • Emergency Communication Center
  • General Nursing Floors
  • Laboratory
  • Life Flight
  • Pastoral Care (Chaplains)
  • Physiatry
  • Radiology
  • Public Safety
  • Social Services and Case Management
  • Surgery
  • Trauma Research Department
  • Younker Memorial Rehabilitation Center

When a trauma patients arrive, these team members are already preparing for patient arrival. Patients are evaluated and treated simultaneously and expeditiously. Team members remain with the patient until transferred from the emergency department to the operating room, critical care unit or surgical floor. 

The trauma team continues to care for the critically injured patients during their hospital stay. The team is a surgeon-led multidisciplinary team that cares for all trauma patients once they have been admitted to the hospital and after life and limb saving procedures in the operating room. This team approach to the care of critically injured or surgical critical care patients has been proven to lessen healthcare expenses and is critical to provider minute-to-minute care and decrease the risks of complications. Every member of the team contributes to patient care through daily collaboration and team visits.