Being able to ride his long board again was a dream come true for Edward Wasilewski. He traveled a long road to recovery after a near fatal accident when he collided with a truck.
"From what I've been told, I bent the frame of the truck. I had eight broken ribs, a broken scapula, a broken pelvis, ruptured spleen, punctured lung and a ripped aorta and also a traumatic brain injury," recalled Wasilewski.
He had 18 operations at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. He credits the trauma team for being here today. Now, Upstate University Hospital and Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital are getting national recognition for trauma care.
The American College of Surgeons has verified hospitals as Level 1 Trauma Centers.
“States or local agencies are the only ones who can actually designate a trauma center. That’s a legal definition. What the American College of Surgeons does is provide an evaluation," said James Greogry, the trauma medical director at Upstate University Hospital. "They’re an independent evaluator to say to the state here’s the standards they’ve met, here are our standards. The state can either choose to accept or reject that. Prior to two years ago, the state did it all on their own.”
Dr. Eric Shaw, an ER physician at Upstate University Hospital, added, "It means that we're now held to a higher standard and the expectations are even higher. We're still providing the same care that we were all along. It's just now there's an extra level of accreditation. They can expect even better. We're moving forward toward regional excellence.”
Several hospitals across the country have already received this designation, and many in New York State are still applying for the special designation. However, Upstate University Hospital and Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital are the first to officially receive the designation in New York State.
"The recognition is nice. The plaque is nice, but watching Ed go down the street on his long board means that we as physicians, as the healthcare team, we put somebody's life back together and let them live," said Gregory.
Trauma doctors hope the designation will be a stepping stone for increased research and grant opportunities.