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Wilmington's St. Francis Hospital receives new trauma ranking

Delaware Public Media

Wilmington’s St. Francis Hospital is now equipped with the certification and resources to perform trauma-related surgeries.

After a years-long process, St. Francis was recently verified as a level three trauma center by the American College of Surgeons.


“So basically in trauma system, the bigger number means lower level. So level 1 is the highest level," said Dr. MehdiJadali, St. Francis Trauma Program Medical Director.


He says Delaware only has one level one trauma center for adults, at Christiana Hospital. A.I. Dupont Hospital for Children is a level one center for child trauma.


Until last year, trauma patients couldn’t undergo surgery at St. Francis because of its designation of “participating in trauma." Jadali says Christiana Care’s Wilmington Hospital has that same designation now.


“It means that they would take the trauma if the patient would come into the hospital, and they had to transfer," Jadali said. "No definitive care could be done in the hospital.”


But because of increasing gun violence and trauma in the city, St. Francis saw a need for more trauma care – and surgeons.


“Every single system in the hospital is involved: from emergency medicine, blood bank, physical therapy, social services… everything is involved to be able to show that the hospital is capable of managing trauma patients," Jadali said.


They now have seven, and hospital transfers have gone down from 27 to 17 percent over the past year.


75% of transfers to Christiana Hospital’s level one facility are attributed to neurological care, as St. Francis’s trauma care team doesn’t include a neurosurgeon.


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