Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center is a Level II Trauma Center providing initial trauma care, regardless of the injury, with physician subspecialists promptly available. Florida currently has 21 trauma centers – seven Level I centers, 12 Level II centers and two pediatric trauma centers.
LRH became a state approved Level II Trauma Center in 1998 and is the only designated trauma center for Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties. While this is LRH’s primary service area, trauma patients are also received from other counties, including Hillsborough and Pasco. Expert trauma care was provided for more than 1,000 critically injured patients at LRH in 2007. Of these patients, 74% were residents of Polk County. The majority of trauma patients at LRH are between the ages of 16 and 65.
The LifeNet 5 Helicopter stationed at the Bartow Airbase in Polk County is utilized to transport trauma patients to LRH that would otherwise involve ground transport times greater than 30 minutes. LifeNet’s rapid response, expertly trained aeromedical crew, and ability to provide resuscitation and other critical care en route, including providing blood products, makes a difference when minutes count for the critically injured patient.
The six full-time Trauma Surgeons at LRH provide trauma call on a continuous basis under the leadership of the Trauma Medical Director Olu Sobowale, MD. The Trauma Surgeons are Board Certified in Surgery and Critical Care Medicine and provide 24-hour coverage for trauma patients in the ICU. LRH has increased the number of Orthopedic and Neuro Surgeons available to provide outstanding follow up treatment and surgery, if needed.
A trauma patient’s hospital stay begins in the Emergency Department, where a multidisciplinary team of specially trained nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, radiology technologists, and pharmacists provide the initial trauma resuscitation. Trained staff and state-of-the-art equipment are immediately available and prioritized when a trauma alert is imminent. An operating suite and a team credentialed in trauma are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
With the opening of the Trauma Intensive Care Unit in 2008, LRH now has four adult Intensive Care Units, with a total of 72 beds.
Expert care is provided for trauma victims and their families on a specific nursing unit at LRH, either initially, or once the patient’s condition improves enough to be transferred from ICU.
Learn more about Trauma Services Community Outreach and Prevention.