Trauma Program Remains Strong

Our hospitals’ trauma services and emergency care for children exceeded our goals in 2013.

In late October, emergency departments at both NorthBay Medical Center and VacaValley Hospital achieved designation as Emergency Departments Approved for Pediatrics, or EDAP, concluding a yearlong effort to focus on enhanced care for young patients.

The  NorthBay Trauma Center in Fairfield by far remained the busiest emergency department for the most critically injured. It treated three to four trauma patients for every one that was taken to the county’s Level II center on the eastern edge of Vacaville.

Disappointment came in August when a team of assessors did not choose to designate NorthBay Medical Center as the Level II trauma center for the county.

“We were understandably disappointed that our experience in trauma, the very good outcomes for patients being treated here and the ideal central location of NorthBay Medical Center did not carry more weight in the designation process,” said Kathy Richerson, vice president and chief nursing officer. “But that was the decision. We moved forward and we continue to care for the majority of trauma victims locally.”

Because of its central geographic location, NorthBay Medical Center will continue to receive the majority of the county’s trauma patients, Richardson noted.

New services that align with the trauma program – including neurosurgery and the NorthBay Center for Neuroscience – will continue. “Programs we built to complement and support our trauma program are standing strong on their own,” Richerson noted. “Dr. Jeffrey Dembner has built a busy practice, proving that there was a need here.”

NorthBay’s Fairfield hospital is the only one in northern Solano County with a full-spectrum pediatric program – around-the-clock pediatric hospitalists, in-patient services, labor and delivery, and neonatal intensive care,” explained Deborah Sugiyama, president of NorthBay Healthcare Group.

Children’s Hospital Oakland and UC Davis Medical Center, where the most seriously injured children receive care, continue to be good partners. “Even with our higher, more sophisticated EDAP designation, some seriously injured pediatric patients will be best treated at those specialty hospitals because of the complexity and extraordinary care they need,” Richerson added.