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Hi-Desert Medical Center now a Level IV Trauma Center

The Hi-Desert Medical Center in San Bernardino County is now a Level IV Trauma Center.

The designation is being celebrated Wednesday at the Joshua Tree campus.

The hospital serves the communities of Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, and Twentynine Palms.

Being named a Level 4 Trauma Center means the facility meets the criteria for a level of services set by The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma and includes "advanced trauma education for nurses and physicians, advanced clinical protocols and equipment," the hospital group shared with News Channel 3.

“It’s been a very smooth transition because we were fortunate enough to work with our sister hospital, JFK Memorial Hospital, which became a Level 4 Trauma Center last year,” said Robin Raymond, RN. “They were instrumental in walking us through the steps and informing us on things to anticipate. This is one of the benefits of being part of Desert Care Network – we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel.”

News Channel 3's Miyoshi Price will take you inside the hospital to show you what's new on News Channel 3 at 5:00.

“We’ve been working on this for about a year and a half, and I’m excited to see this become a reality for the community,” said Dr. Babak Khazaeni, MD, Medical Director of the Emergency Departments at both Hi-Desert Regional Medical Center and Desert Regional Medical Center.

According to the American Trauma Society, elements of Level IV Trauma Centers include:

  • Basic emergency department facilities to implement ATLS protocols and 24-hour laboratory coverage. Available trauma nurse(s) and physicians available upon patient arrival.
  • May provide surgery and critical-care services if available.  
  • Has developed transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care at a Level I or Level II Trauma Center. 
  • Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program.
  • Involved with prevention efforts and must have an active outreach program for its referring communities. 

Desert area hospitals prepare for trauma response

JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio was designated a Level IV Trauma Center last fall.

President and CEO of JFK Memorial Hospital, Gary Honts, said at that time that the hospital’s designation enables doctors at JFK to offer a wider range of medical care that includes blunt trauma, significant falls, and head injuries, shots and knife wounds, burns, as well as auto and motorcycle accidents.

JFK can also handle minor pediatric trauma cases, and evaluate and transfer patients to its sister facility, Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs if a higher level of care is needed.

Desert Regional is designated as a Level Two Trauma Center. According to the American Trauma Society, elements of Level II Trauma Centers include:

  • 24-hour immediate coverage by general surgeons, as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care. 
  • Tertiary care needs such as cardiac surgery, hemodialysis and microvascular surgery may be referred to a Level I Trauma Center. 
  • Provides trauma prevention and continuing education programs for staff. 
  • Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program.

Eisenhower Health announced the hospital's designation as a Level Four Trauma Center in November.

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Article Topic Follows: Health

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Miyoshi Price

Miyoshi joined KESQ News Channel 3 in April 2022. Learn more about Miyoshi here.


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