Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital to Change Trauma Center Designation From Level II to Level III
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Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital to Change Trauma Center Designation From Level II to Level III 

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1. What services will be available at the Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital Level III Trauma Center?

Based on the trauma registry, less than 1% of the patients who are now seeking care at SVBGH will have to be transported to Norfolk. Most will be major orthopedic cases. The Level III Trauma Center at SVBGH will have general surgeons and neurosurgeons available for trauma cases. The Level III Center will continue to receive patients with head trauma, stabbing and gunshot wounds to the torso, motor vehicle crashes without obvious major orthopedic trauma and near drowning.

2. What is the difference between a Level II Trauma Center and a Level III Trauma Center?

The primary difference between a Level II and Level III Trauma Center is that Level II designation requires physician coverage in certain sub-specialties (general surgery, neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery) essential to operation. The criteria require that these physicians must be available immediately -in house and/or ready to respond within minutes as a member of the trauma team. Classification as a Level III Trauma Center requires that the only sub-specialty essential is general surgery. Other sub-specialties must be on call and available promptly, either in-house or within 30 minutes.

3. Why is Sentara downgrading the Trauma Center designation at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital?

Unfortunately, Sentara had to make this change due to the inability to secure the appropriate number of sub-specialties such as orthopedic surgeons to cover trauma on-site in the emergency room, a criteria needed for the Level II designation. Many months and long hours of discussions and negotiations were spent in looking for alternatives to this decision. Due the inability to secure the necessary surgeons, SVBGH is unable to meet Level II designation.


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