Level I Trauma Center | Des Moines, IA


Level I Trauma Center

Iowa Methodist Medical Center is one of two Level I Trauma Centers in the state of Iowa, the only in Central Iowa. 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.

Research

As a Level I Trauma Center, Iowa Methodist Medical Center is dedicated to research and scholarly activities in the area of traumatic injury. Studies have shown that patient outcomes are improved if an organized trauma system includes interaction between basic research and clinical care. Our research program seeks to advance clinical knowledge but also to optimize and improve the care of injured patients.

At IMMC, trauma research addresses major issues of trauma across the entire timeline of trauma patient care, from the pre-hospital setting to discharge. Trauma Services is currently conducting a significant number of research projects, all designed to enhance the trauma system's ability to resuscitate, stabilize and treat critically ill patients. Specific research emphases include:

  • Early mobility of critically-ill patients.
  • Pain management for geriatric trauma patients.
  • Treatment of depression in trauma patients.
  • Implementation of critical care protocols.
  • Educating the EMS community about the importance of tourniquets.

Research has recently been published in The Journal of Trauma Nursing, The Journal of Rural Health, and Traffic Injury Prevention and presented at local and national research conferences.