A Regional Trauma Center with Level I Designation
Stony Brook is what’s known
as a regional trauma center. This means that it has been designated by New York
State to handle the most severe injuries and most complex cases. As the
county’s only Level I Trauma Center, Stony Brook provides a level of care
beyond the capabilities of the emergency rooms at local hospitals. In fact,
patients who arrive at community hospitals with serious illness or injury are often
transported to Stony Brook.
What does the Level I
designation mean? Although the criteria
differ by state, the trauma center ranking system (Level I, II, III, IV or V)
refers to the kinds of resources and the standard of care available, as well as
the ability to handle a certain volume of severely injured patients. Level I is
the highest designation, indicating that the most advanced care is available.
Level I facilities such as Stony Brook are typically part of a comprehensive
tertiary care facility that serves an entire region. They are able to provide
24-hour, in-house (as opposed to on-call) coverage by trauma surgeons, as well
as prompt availability of care in specialties such as orthopaedic surgery,
neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine,
plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial, pediatrics and critical care. Level I
trauma centers also take a leadership role in prevention, public education and
continuing education of trauma team members, along with participating in
research and quality assessment initiatives.
Because more than 300 trauma
and emergency patients a month get transferred to the Stony Brook Trauma Center,
we have established a patient transfer center that offers a single point of
contact to streamline the process. With one number, one call and one contact, transport
services are easy to schedule — and, more important, available 24/7.
Here’s how it works.
- The referring physician
calls (631) 444-1911 to request a patient transfer to Stony Brook Trauma
- The Stony Brook Transfer Center is staffed 24/7 by trained EMS personnel who have expertise in coordinating the transfer of patients. The referring physician is conferenced with the appropriate Stony Brook physician who discusses the case and arranges for acceptance of the patient.
- All ambulances are equipped with a critical care paramedic and supplemental staff are added to the transport team based upon the patient's clinical condition.
- For neonatal and pediatric
patients (including pregnant women in fetal distress), Stony Brook sends a
specialized transport team that, depending on the patient’s condition, can
include physicians, nurse practitioners, neonatal intensive care nurses,
respiratory therapists and critical care emergency nurses.
- While the patient is en
route to the hospital, Stony Brook’s trauma team prepares for the patient so
they can immediately and seamlessly address the most critical issues upon
- In some cases, patients may
need to be transported to Stony Brook via helicopter. We operate a MediVac air
transport service in partnership with the Suffolk County Police Department and have
a helipad adjacent to the Emergency Department. The helicopter is piloted by a
Suffolk County police officer and staffed at all times by a Stony Brook
paramedic. Like our ground transport, it is available 24/7.
Click here to view our Guidelines for Referring Physicians.
In addition to serving patients, Stony
Brook Trauma Center is committed to numerous research endeavors. There is basic
science research focusing on the physiological mechanisms involved in
shock, systemic inflammation and hemorrhage. A trauma clinical research group
is involved in conducting both prospective and retrospective studies examining multiple
aspects of the care of trauma patients. Results from both basic and clinical
research have been published and presented nationally and internationally.
Two current research projects are Phase
II spinal cord studies. Other projects, which have been recently published in
professional medical journals, include: