Medical professionals and first responders recently filled the House of Representatives chambers at Legislative Hall to mark the 20th anniversary of the Delaware Trauma System.

Medical professionals and first responders recently filled the House of Representatives chambers at Legislative Hall, joined by state and local officials, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Delaware Trauma System.

Delaware created an integrated, statewide trauma system 20 years ago that begins with a 911 call and does not end until after the patient receives hospital care to increase the chance of survival and reduce the chance of permanent disability.

The Delaware Trauma System members include 911 emergency communications centers, emergency medical service providers of basic and advanced life support, fire and police agencies, air medical transport, hospital emergency trauma teams, operating rooms and intensive care units.

The state’s trauma system is credited with saving 1,319 lives and caring for 101,000 seriously injured people since 2000; an almost 50 percent decrease in the mortality rate in that time. The Delaware mortality rate is lower than the national rate reported by the federal National Trauma Data Bank.

The DHSS Division of Public Health Office of Emergency Medical Services oversees the system from the time traumatic incidents occur through the full continuum of care. OEMS has played a role in building one coordinated system of care that functions as a statewide team of caregivers. The Delaware General Assembly and former Gov. Thomas Carper created the Delaware Statewide Trauma System via legislation in July 1996.

When hospitals meet the standards for verification by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, they receive state designations as Trauma Centers.

Christiana Hospital of the Christiana Care Health System is designated a Regional Level 1 Trauma Center. A Regional Resource Trauma Center has the capability of providing leadership and comprehensive, definitive care for every aspect of injury from prevention through rehabilitation.

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington assumes a leadership role in caring for injured children. As a Pediatric Regional Level 1 Trauma Center, it has the capability of providing leadership and comprehensive, definitive pediatric trauma care for the more severely injured children within its geographic area.

Delaware has seven Community Level 3 Trauma Centers: Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital, Beebe Healthcare, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Saint Francis Healthcare, Wilmington Hospital of Christiana Care Health System and Peninsula Regional Medical Center via reciprocity. Community Level 3 Trauma Centers provide assessment, resuscitation, stabilization and triage for all trauma patients. They arrange timely patient transfers for those who need a regional trauma or specialty center and deliver care to those patients whose needs can be met by the facility’s resources.

The 14 Trauma System leaders were recognized for their 20 years of continuous service:

— Edward L. Alexander III, of Bayhealth Kent General Hospital.

— Marilynn K. Bartley, of Christiana Care Health System.

— Steven Blessing, EMS and preparedness section, DPH.

— Steven D. Carey, of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital.

— Dean Dobbert, Kent County EMS medical director.

— Deborah Eberly, of Bayhealth.

— Gerard J. Fulda, of Christiana Care Health System.

— Linda Laskowski Jones, of Christiana Care Health System.

— MarySue Jones, state trauma system coordinator, DPH.

— James P. Marvel Jr., of Beebe Healthcare.

— Ross E. Megargel, state EMS medical director.

— Stephen G. Murphy, of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

— Lawrence E. Tan, chief of EMS, New Castle County.

— Glen H. Tinkoff, of Christiana Care Health System.

Additionally, State Sen. Bruce C. Ennis, D-Smyrna, read a joint resolution recognizing the trauma system’s anniversary, and trauma survivor Melanie Pertain shared how the trauma system helped her and her family after they were involved in a serious motor vehicle crash.

For more information, call 223-1350 or visit dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/ems/trauma.html.