Pediatric Trauma Center Verification Approved for Two More Years

September 23, 2013

Assuring hurt kids will get the highest level of care, immediately

University Hospital’s Level II pediatric trauma center has been verified for two more years by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma, and will continue as South Texas’ destination for seriously injured and burned children.

To qualify, the hospital had to meet more than 20 criteria, ranging from around-the-clock availability of specialized care, to programs in pediatric rehabilitation, social work and injury prevention, and education. University Hospital was initially verified in October of 2012. This most recent certification means the hospital will not need to go through the rigorous application and site visit process for another two years.

“We hope the vast majority of children in South Texas never need services like this, but if they do, the pediatric trauma team at University Hospital stands ready, every day around the clock, with the best experts and technology, and following best practice treatment guidelines,” said George B. Hernández Jr., University Health System president/CEO. “We are dedicated to caring for the children of our community and trauma region. There is no greater mission.”

University Hospital, with its physician partners at UT Medicine San Antonio, the clinical practice of the UT Health Science Center School of Medicine, is the only Level I trauma center in South Texas that cares for both adults and children. The San Antonio Military Medical Center’s Level I trauma center, which works closely with University Health System, only accepts adult civilian patients.

University Hospital treats about 1,000 children suffering from serious injuries and burns each year. The hospital operates the only pediatric burn program in South Texas as part of its trauma mission and plans to advance to Level I status at a future date. The requirements related to patient care for Level I and Level II are the same. Level I verification includes specific criteria related to pediatric trauma research.

“Our hospital is well known for providing the highest quality of care to seriously injured children. This continuation of our trauma center verification is proof of our team's dedication and commitment to providing quality care for injured children in Bexar County and beyond. We’re here when the children need us,” said Dr. Lillian Liao, a UT Medicine trauma surgeon and director of the Pediatric Trauma and Burn Program at University Hospital.

The ACS Committee on Trauma's verification program does not designate trauma centers. Rather, the program confirms that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing optimal trauma care for all injured patients. In Texas, trauma centers are designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services, which does not yet have a separate designation for pediatric trauma centers.