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LVH-Muhlenberg achieves Level II trauma center accreditation

Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg is officially a Level II adult trauma center, making it the fourth Lehigh Valley Health Network hospital to receive trauma center accreditation.

The accreditation was approved by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, the accrediting body for trauma centers in Pennsylvania, on July 16, and is effective Sept. 1.

A Level II adult trauma center provides multidisciplinary treatment and specialized resources for trauma patients but doesn’t require the research and surgical residency programs of a Level I adult trauma center, the highest trauma center level in Pennsylvania. LVH–Cedar Crest is a Level I adult trauma center.

Trauma centers typically treat patients injured in falls, motor vehicle crashes, industrial accidents and other situations that produce life-threatening injuries. There are currently 42 approved trauma centers in Pennsylvania. Effective Sept. 1, that will increase to 46. In addition to LVH–Muhlenberg and LVH–Cedar Crest, LVHN’s other accredited trauma centers are LVH–Pocono (Level III) and LVH–Hazleton (Level IV), making LVHN the only health network in Pennsylvania to achieve all levels of adult trauma center accreditation.

Lehigh Valley Health Network has had a formal trauma program since July 1978. In 1981, LVH–Cedar Crest became the first trauma center to be designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In 1985, when the PTSF was given the statutory authority to accredit trauma centers, LVH-Cedar Crest applied for accreditation as a Level I trauma center and was approved in 1986. It also is an accredited Level 2 Pediatric Trauma center as well as an ABA/ACS Verified Regional Burn Center.

“Achieving Level II trauma center accreditation is a tribute to the talent and commitment of everyone involved in emergency care at LVH–Muhlenberg,” said Bob Begliomini, president, LVH–Muhlenberg and LVH–Hecktown Oaks. “It strengthens our ability to care for our communities.”

Trauma surgeon Joseph Stirparo, MD, trauma program medical director at LVH–Muhlenberg, said trauma center accreditation ensures the hospital has the resources to care for patients with serious injuries.

“In addition to standards for response times, resources, equipment and personnel, trauma center accreditation requires a performance improvement program designed to ensure that all trauma patients receive the highest quality care possible,” he said. “The decision to become a trauma center at LVH–Muhlenberg was based on the idea of caring for patients in the community where they live.”

Over the past several years, LVH–Muhlenberg has transferred about 500 patients to LVH–Cedar Crest. With the new trauma center accreditation, the most seriously ill and injured patients will be able to remain at LVH–Muhlenberg for treatment.

The hospital features a newly constructed helipad and dedicated trauma resuscitation rooms.