All four of county's trauma centers have been approved for another two years, county emergency medical services director Betty O'Rourke said Tuesday.
That means the four specially equipped centers--at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo, Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center and UCI Medical Center--will continue to be designated to receive the county's most seriously injured emergency patients.
The four, all part of the county trauma system since it began in 1980, were surveyed in July by a team of trauma experts from outside the county that visited the hospitals and reviewed the charts of 178 patients.
Although all four hospitals were given full approval, the reviewing panel made eight recommendations for improving trauma care.
Those suggestions included reducing delays in transporting patients, expanding a detailed computer audit of patient care now in use at Mission Hospital to the other three trauma centers, and making all trauma centers base hospitals for paramedics.
At the moment two of the trauma Centers, UCI and Fountain Valley, do not dispatch paramedics.