Piggott hospital designated as Level IV trauma center

Thursday, January 26, 2012
Piggott Community Hospital trauma team members are, from left: Shelly Samples, RN; Dr. J.T. Dewitt, and Tammye Hendrix, RN. (Courtesy photo)

Piggott Community Hospital (PCH) was designated Nov. 10 as a Level IV trauma center. In becoming a Level IV hospital, PCH had to meet rigorous standards set forth by the state in the care of a trauma patient.

PCH passed the initial processes to receive a designation and be reviewed every four years to maintain trauma credentials.

Trauma-related injuries have been the number one cause of death in Arkansas. Prior to 2009, Arkansas was one of only a few states that did not have a statewide trauma system. The Arkansas General Assembly took necessary steps to upgrade the state's emergency care system and developed the Trauma System Act. This act defines trauma levels for qualifying hospitals in a range of four levels of response. It also sets forth pre-determined guidelines to direct the care of a trauma patient.

Dr. J.T. Dewitt was designated as the trauma medical director at PCH. Shelly Samples, RN, was named trauma program manager (TPM), and Tammye Hendrix, RN, was assigned the role of trauma registrar.

"This was a huge undertaking for clinical staff and physicians alike," said James Magee, CEO. "Along with demands of their jobs, they took on more education and testing to prove their capabilities. A Level IV designation ensures that our trauma patients' get the most appropriate care in a efficient manner.

"The goal is for all patients to receive the most appropriate care at the best qualified facility in a timely manner. When necessary, there is a statewide call center that assists with the transferring of a trauma patient from the scene or hospital to a facility best equipped to meet their needs."

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