St. Luke's Meridian now a Level 4 trauma center

Posted at 8:54 AM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 10:54:07-05

MERIDIAN, Idaho — The emergency department at St. Luke's in Meridian has been designated as a level IV trauma center. The Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency Council approved the official trauma level status in November.

St. Luke's Meridian is the first trauma center designation for a St. Luke's hospital in the Treasure Valley. Trauma centers must meet strict criteria, be equipped to provide advanced trauma life support and be able to transfer patients to a higher-level trauma center when specialized care is needed.

Located in the middle of Idaho's fastest-growing population area, St. Luke's Meridian sees the majority of patients of any emergency department in the state. The emergency medicine team put in extensive efforts to prepare for the designation. St. Luke's also invested in a state-of-the-art critical care room at the hospital. Components of the program also include injury prevention and community education specific to trauma.

"In addition to presenting community Stop the Bleed classes, participating in the Fit and Fall Proof program for the community's aging population and now the new trauma designation, St. Luke's Meridian is committed to improving long-term health outcomes for our neighbors here in the Treasure Valley," said nurse Andi Esslinger, the Meridian Trauma Program Manager.

Idaho's TSE system was approved and funded in 2014 by the Idaho Legislature to create a statewide trauma system aimed at reducing three of Idaho's top five causes of death: trauma, stroke and heart attack. Specific criteria and standards of care are now in place for each category, which studies show improves patient outcomes, reduces the frequency of preventable death and improves patients' quality of life.

Five trauma level designations are recognized. Higher-level facilities, I and II, treat more complex patients. Idaho does not have a Level 1 trauma center, which is characterized by teaching programs for medical residents and ongoing research.

St. Luke's Meridian joins St. Luke's hospitals in Wood River, McCall and Magic Valley as designated trauma centers and is the next step in expanding St. Luke's trauma network. In April, a Level II pediatric trauma program opened at St. Luke's Children's Hospital in Boise. The team is currently working on getting certified as a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons.