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The Southern Illinois Trauma Center is a joint effort between Memorial Medical Center, St. John's Hospital, and the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, which culminated after two years of planning. The hospitals rotate annually providing the Level I trauma service while the other hospital continues to provide Level II trauma service. The overall medical direction of the Southern Illinois Trauma Center is provided by John P. Sutyak M.D., a board-certified surgeon with the SIU School of Medicine. The Southern Illinois Trauma Center is supported and staffed by a panel of surgeons from the community, the SIU School of Medicine chief surgical residents, and other surgical residents. Personnel include a trauma nurse coordinator from each hospital, a trauma registrar from the SIU School of Medicine, and the emergency department staffs from each hospital.
Many other specialties must be available within 30 minutes to a Level I trauma center. These include cardiothoracic, neurosurgery, obstetrics, ophthalmology, oral-maxiofacial, orthopaedics, otolaryngology, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, replantation, urology, and vascular surgery. Internal medicine subspecialties and pediatrics must be available within one hour. Immediate access to anesthesia, radiology, ICU, operating rooms, laboratory and other non-surgical services also is required.
Although the main focus of the Southern Illinois Trauma Center is patient care, there are several other areas in which the SITC can provide services. The Trauma Nurse Specialist course is sponsored by the SITC and offered to any nurse in emergency, surgery, ICU or other critical care areas. Advanced Trauma Life Support is offered to physicians to provide specialized knowledge in the care of critically-injured patients. There are many other speakers that can be provided regarding most any topic related to critically-injured patients, from prevention to organ donation.

Background information on the SITC
The Southern Illinois Trauma Center application was submitted in the Spring of 1999 to Emergency Medical Services and Highway Safety at the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). It included a resolution of support from the Region III Advisory Committees for EMS and Trauma. IDPH conducted an on-site inspection June 22, 1999, and subsequently informed the medical school and hospitals of the approval. The Southern Illinois Trauma Center has met the requirements of the Illinois Trauma Code and joins two other Level I trauma centers in downstate Illinois.
The area served by the Southern Illinois Trauma Center is designated by IDPH Region III and includes 18 counties -- Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Greene, Hancock, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler and Scott. At the time of IDPH approval there were two other Level II hospitals in the region -- Blessing Hospital in Quincy and Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville. (Currently there is one other Level II hospital in the region)  They, along with Memorial and St. John's and Jersey Medical Community Hospital in Jerseyville, are the resource hospitals for Emergency Medical Systems (EMS).
The most recent IDPH Profile of the Division of Emergency Medical Services and Highway Safety, issued in September 1998 (1997 data) reported 35,393 EMS calls in the region with 4,100-plus EMS personnel in the region and 135 EMS vehicles. The IDPH report referenced a total of 119,923 trauma calls in the state; nearly half (48 percent) were motor vehicle related.
Level I Trauma designation requires a trauma surgeon, support personnel and specific equipment be available so immediate surgical intervention can begin in a life-threatening situation. The criterion includes providing an experienced full-time surgeon as trauma director. Other surgical services must be available within 30 minutes -- cardiothoracic, neurosurgery, obstetrics, ophthalmology, oral-maxiofacial, orthopaedics, otolaryngology, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, replantation, urology and vascular.

Internal Medicine subspecialties and pediatrics must be available within one hour. The trauma center must also have immediate access to anesthesia, radiology, ICU, operating rooms and several non-surgical services. Both hospitals worked together to develop common policies and procedures for management of trauma patients. Having been Level II hospitals for some time, some of the support staff and special equipment were already in place at both facilities.
The designation for the Southern Illinois Trauma Center allows use of senior surgical residents from SIU residency programs to help provide initial trauma management for patients during the first 30 minutes as a component of their advanced training. These resident physicians will be based in the hospital. The senior surgical residents can perform medical and surgical procedures under the supervision of the attending trauma surgeon staff.