Sanford and Kissimmee, FL – In an effort to expand access to life-saving medical care for critically injured patients, Central Florida Regional Hospital and Osceola Regional Medical Center have been designated as Provisional Status Level II Trauma Centers by the Florida Department of Health. The hospitals began accepting Level II trauma patients on May 1.

Both hospitals have successfully completed the state’s provisional review phase and are able to accept Level II trauma patients with critical injuries, such as victims of car accidents, sports injuries, shootings and stabbings. The Provisional Status Level II Trauma Center Designation signifies:

  • 24/7 in-house coverage by a trauma surgeon
  • 24/7 access to specialty and non-specialty surgeons and physicians
  • 24/7 on-call neurosurgeons
  • 24/7 on-site anesthesia provider, surgical services team and trauma-trained nurses

When emergency medical services personnel respond to patients, they transport them to the nearest trauma center capable of providing appropriate treatment. Previously, many patients in Seminole, West Volusia, South Orange, Osceola and Polk counties were transported more than 20 miles to the nearest trauma center.

The hospitals aim to reduce transport times during the “golden hour” – a 60-minute window for bringing patients to a designated trauma center. Studies show that the sooner care is given within that hour, the better the outcome.

Trauma is the leading cause of death among Floridians under the age of 44, and Florida’s death rate for trauma remains higher than the national average.

“This is a critical, life-saving advancement of medicine for the residents of Seminole and West Volusia counties, as well as for the many visitors who pass through our community each year,” said Wendy Brandon, Chief Executive Officer of Central Florida Regional Hospital. “Our mission is to save lives by reducing transport times for critically injured patients to receive appropriate care. In addition, keeping families of trauma victims closer to their loved ones will help the recovery process for our patients.” Robert Krieger, CEO of Osceola Regional Medical Center, said: “For many years now, our community has urgently needed greater access to immediate, specialized trauma treatment. As we open our doors to Level II trauma patients, we are honored to help meet our community’s medical needs and expand our mission of saving lives.”

Central Florida Regional Hospital’s quest to become a trauma center began on October 1, 2014, when the hospital filed a letter of intent to submit a Level II trauma center application in 2015. Over the last six months, it has built the infrastructure for trauma services, including ER renovations to add two new, fully equipped trauma bays, specialized equipment and the addition of clinical experts trained to provide trauma care. In addition, hospital staff members have logged nearly 7,000 hours of specialized training to ensure clinicians throughout the facility are prepared to provide the highest level of care for critically ill and injured patients.

Osceola Regional Medical Center is the largest hospital in Osceola County, with 321 beds. The hospital began its journey toward becoming a trauma center in 2012, when it filed a letter of intent to submit a Level II trauma center application. Osceola Regional has developed personnel, specialized training, infrastructure and equipment, including renovations of its emergency department.

Both hospitals have implemented continuous in-house physician staffing for trauma surgery, emergency medicine and anesthesia, along with increased physician staffing of surgical and non-surgical specialties. Additionally, both have joined Florida’s first and largest statewide network of trauma centers, developed as an affiliation between the University of South Florida (USF) and HCA to improve access and outcomes of injured patients.