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LSU Level 1 Trauma Center Named "Spirit of Charity"

Tony Pohlman and his wife, Wanda, with Dr. Norman McSwain (center), Trauma Director.

In honor of the highly skilled and dedicated staff of the Level 1 Trauma Center in New Orleans, the LSU Board of Supervisors at its meeting of October 9, 2009, passed a resolution designating the Center the “Spirit of Charity Level 1 Trauma Center.”

A ceremony recognizing the new designation was held October 29, 2009, at the Trauma Center in the Interim LSU Public Hospital, 2021 Perdido St., New Orleans, La.

On hand for the ceremony was Tony Pohlman, a former patient of the Trauma Center, who celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Trauma-Center staff saving his life on October 29, 2008, after a motorcycle accident inflicted injuries so severe he received the Last Rites.

“The recovery of Tony Pohlman is due to the expert staff of the trauma center,” said Dr. Norman McSwain, Trauma Director. “The team effort we employ is available to every patient we see. This effort is essential to comprehensive trauma care, and our care is second to none, nationally or internationally.”

Level 1 trauma care is the highest level attainable. LSU has the only two Level 1 trauma centers in Louisiana. The other is at the LSU Health Sciences Center – Shreveport.

The Trauma Center provides care to all major trauma victims not only in New Orleans but in the 10-parish area surrounding New Orleans. All patients with severe injuries are brought to the Trauma Center directly from the site of injury by EMS.

“We cannot overestimate the value of the LSU Level 1 Trauma Center to the quality of life in south Louisiana,” said Dr. Roxane Townsend, Interim ILH CEO. “Not only is a Level 1 Trauma Center an essential component of superior health care in any major metropolitan area, but the LSU Level 1Trauma Center is able to attract outstanding surgical residents who are seeking post-graduate training.”

The LSU Level 1 Trauma Center is critical to Louisiana health care. The American College of Emergency Physicians indicates that the state has inadequate access to emergency medical care.

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the LSU Level 1 Trauma Center, one of the best and busiest in the nation, was in Charity Hospital, part of the multi-building Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans. Post-Katrina renovations to the Interim LSU Public Hospital provided the Center with a new home in a state-of-the-art area that provides immediate accessibility of physicians, nurses, technicians, and services under the same roof.

The Center regained Level 1 verification in December 2008. This verification recognizes the trauma center's ability to provide optimal care for injured patients with full trauma-center staff, facilities, and services available twenty-four hours a day. Staff includes physicians from LSU and Tulane Universities.

The Committee On Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which verifies trauma centers, requires an extensive accumulation of data prior to verification. Visit www.facs.org/trauma/vrcl.html for the complete list of requirements for Level I.