Minutes counted for Christian LaChance, a Brockton boy who wound up with a blood clot in his brain after being hit in the head by a rock while horsing around in his backyard on a warm day in late February. The speedy arrival of the paramedics, their decision to immediately call MedFlight, and the availability of expert neurosurgical care through Floating Hospital’s Level I Trauma Center saved the 11-year-old’s life. He was home in less than a week and has fully recovered, to the delight of his familyMonths before, Floating Hospital’s trauma center – established decades ago as one of the first pediatric trauma centers in the country - was recertified as a Level I program, one of only a few hospitals in the United States to receive this verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS). In order to qualify for Level I status, the highest level a trauma center can attain, Floating was required to demonstrate excellence and expertise in every single pediatric trauma subspecialty during an extremely thorough, stringent and rigorous ACS onsite review. The trauma center also needed to display a robust scientific research program, an extensive education program for health care professionals, and a diverse community injury prevention education program, for children and their families.
“The certification affirms Floating Hospital’s long-standing reputation as a high-level pediatric trauma facility and recognizes our trauma center's dedication, commitment and ability to provide cutting edge care for all pediatric patients suffering from any type of trauma-related injury,” said Walter J. Chwals, MD, FACS, FAAP, FCCM, Surgeon-in-Chief at Floating Hospital and Director of the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute. “We treat many critically injured children who are transferred to us from our affiliate hospitals and communities across the region. We hope achieving Level I status will provide those families with some peace of mind, knowing that, if needed, their children will have access to the highest quality pediatric trauma care available.”
“Since we began our partnership with Floating Hospital in 2009, there always has been a strong commitment to providing our families in the MetroWest area with as much care close to home as possible,” said Lisa Sotir, MD, Chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at MetroWest Medical Center. “Our emergency departments at Framingham Union Hospital and Leonard Morse Hospital have always been able to safely and quickly arrange for the transfer of all pediatric trauma patients that cannot be cared for in the community hospital setting. This prestigious Level I trauma certification for Floating Hospital further strengthens our ability to provide the full spectrum of care to our pediatric population.”
“When our pediatric trauma patients improve, we make a concerted effort to return them to the care of their community hospital and referring physician as soon as possible,” said Floating Hospital Pediatric Trauma Nurse Coordinator Leslie Rideout, FNP. “It makes things easier for the family and is often more comfortable for patients to be in a familiar setting, as they continue their recovery. Our doctors and surgeons always keep in close communication with our patients’ referring physicians throughout the process, and inform them when a transfer home is appropriate.”
To save their patients the trouble of repeatedly coming back to Boston for follow-up appointments, Floating Hospital trauma doctors and surgeons travel to several community hospitals every week, so patients can see their Level I caregivers in their home setting. These community clinics were in the planning stages prior to achieving Level I status, but have now been held regularly in the months since the Level I certification.