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Jefferson Memorial Hospital becomes trauma center

January 29, 1997

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson Memorial Hospital's emergency department was officially certified as a trauma center Wednesday by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services Office of Emergency Medical Services.

Jefferson Memorial Hospital is one of only eight of 66 hospitals across West Virginia to have trauma center certification.

The hospital was reviewed last September by a committee of physicians, nurses and other health officials from across the state. They examined the hospital's trauma rooms, equipment, the training of the emergency room physicians and staff and the amount of training given to emergency medics and paramedics.

Jefferson Memorial Hospital is designated a Level III trauma center, meaning it is considered an intermediate institution. Level II is considered an advanced trauma center and a Level I is a comprehensive trauma center.

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Grant Memorial in Grant County, W.Va., was previously the nearest Level III trauma center in West Virginia. West Virginia University Hospital and Charleston Area Medical Center are Level I trauma centers.

Level III centers are expected to be equipped to treat patients with many trauma injuries or to be able to stabilize those with more serious injuries so they can be safely transferred to a more advanced hospital, said Dr. William D. Ramsey, state medical director at the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

Dr. Vincent J. Bocchino, director of emergency medicine at Jefferson Memorial Hospital, said the hospital showed a serious commitment to emergency health care by going through the certification process.

Jefferson Memorial Hospital's emergency department treated 18,411 patients in 1996, with ailments ranging from colds to multiple traumas, according to hospital records. The emergency room has four full-time physicians and one part-time physician, 19 full-time and part-time registered nurses, four licensed practical nurses, and one paramedic.

Certification is voluntary, but state officials are working with the legislature to make it a requirement, Ramsey said.

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