NorthBay Medical Center was designated Solano County’s first Level III trauma center in 2011. Now, severely injured patients are able to receive care quickly and close to home rather than being transported long distances for care.
Level III centers typically care for patients with serious injuries, mostly from accidents. However, as Porsha Jenkins’ story reveals, a trauma team is ready to respond no matter what the cause of the trauma.
Having a Level III Trauma Center with obstetric capability and training made the critical, life-saving difference in this case, says Daman Mott, R.N., director of Emergency Services and Trauma.
NorthBay’s trauma plan is based on policies and procedures to cover any conceivable trauma situation, including obstetrics. Every department at NorthBay Medical Center has trauma drills to allow nurses and physicians from across the hospital to get to know each other and learn what to expect during a traumatic situation. “Having specialized nurses oriented to trauma means we all respond faster, with greater focus. This situation is a testament that we are able handle anything,” adds Heather Venezio, Trauma Program director.
It’s also a reminder that traumas are not just delivered to the Emergency Department by ambulance. They can happen anywhere, even in the hospital.
NorthBay Medical Center has invested years building an infrastructure for trauma care and other advanced medical services. It is now an advanced Chest Pain Center with PCI—Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, which involves placing stents to restore blood flow to the heart. It is also a STEMI Receiving Center, which means ambulances are required to bring suspected heart attack patients to the hospital for treatment. NorthBay Medical Center has the only civilian cardiovascular operating room in the county.
A complete panel of around-the-clock, in-house specialists—including general surgery, orthopedic surgery, anesthesia, OB-GYN and critical care medicine—provide a strong foundation for a high-quality trauma medical team.
In April, neurosurgery became available. This month, NorthBay Medical Center will submit a letter of intent to become a Level II trauma center. If approved, the hospital would provide advanced care for those with head trauma and neurological complications, so these patients would not have to be sent to out-of-county hospitals.
An independent review panel will evaluate the proposal and the American College of Surgeons will make a recommendation. A decision is expected in the fall.