It’s official: As of today, St. Luke’s Anderson Campus in Bethlehem Township is a Level II trauma center.
The Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation approved the hospital’s accreditation after a lengthy and in-depth review of its specialized surgical services and other related medical resources.
“Accreditation as a Level II Trauma Center assures the public that St. Luke’s Anderson physicians and staff are fully equipped to evaluate and treat all trauma patients,” said Dr. Peter Thomas, Medical Director of St. Luke’s Trauma Program. “Achieving this status is another example of our ongoing commitment to the communities we serve.”
Trauma centers are hospitals with resources immediately available to provide optimal care and reduce the likelihood of death or disability in patients injured in motor vehicle crashes, industrial accidents, falls and other life-threatening situations.
In Pennsylvania, there are four levels of trauma centers. Level I trauma centers provide the highest degree of resources with a full spectrum of specialists and must have trauma research and surgical residency programs. Level II trauma centers require the same high level of care but do not require research and residency programs.
Level III trauma centers are smaller community hospitals that do not require neurosurgeons and focus on stabilizing severe trauma patients prior to transport to a higher-level trauma center. They may admit patients with mild and moderate injuries.
Level IV trauma centers provide enhanced care to injured patients within the emergency department and focus on stabilization and quick transfer to a higher-level trauma center. They may admit mildly injured patients.
St. Luke’s University Health Network has five trauma centers in the greater Lehigh Valley, including its Bethlehem Campus Level I center.
“Each trauma center regardless of its level is an integral component of the emergency medical services (EMS) system,” the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation said in a statement.