UF Children’s Hospital earns trauma care status

UF Shands Children's Hospital
UF Shands Children's Hospital
Courtesy of UF Health

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) recently designated UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital as a Level 1 pediatric trauma center.

The center is one of fewer than 20 in the nation to earn the distinction. The verification now means the hospital meets the ACS’s highest standards for resources, equipment and staff to optimally handle a child’s life-threatening injuries.

According to the UF Health press release, “the designation comes after a five-year, large-scale effort the UF College of Medicine Department of Surgery’s pediatric surgery division led to add crucial staff and design evidence-based treatment protocols.”

UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital has long been a state-issued designated Level 1 trauma center, meaning it can handle the most complex pediatric injury cases. The ACS verification goes into the inner workings of a trauma center and includes how the center executes continuous quality improvement while also offering a wide variety of specialists.

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“This means that every child who comes to our hospital is getting nationally recognized, high-level trauma care,” said Dr. Shawn D. Larson, the interim chief of pediatric surgery who led the verification effort, in the press release.

UF Shands is one of four ACS-verified Level 1 pediatric trauma centers in the state and one of only 18 nationwide.

“Every single patient is part of a quality-improvement process that we use to make things better all the time,” Larson said. “When their child arrives in a trauma bay, there’s a pediatric surgeon standing there. They’re being cared for by a board-certified pediatric critical care physician and pediatric-specific anesthesiologist when they go to the operating room.”

In June, the UF Shands Children’s Hospital’s diabetes and endocrinology program was ranked No. 10 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

The ranking is the highest the diabetes and endocrinology program has achieved. It joins three other top-rated programs at UF Health that include pediatric pulmonology and lung surgery (No. 24), cardiology and heart surgery (No. 26), and neonatology (No. 35).  

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