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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Three alumni join Board of Trustees
By Hannah Marr, News Editor • June 21, 2024

GW Hospital earns top trauma center rating

GW Hospital can now treat the city’s most severe trauma patients Tuesday, boosting it into an exclusive group of hospitals nationwide.

The hospital received what is widely recognized as the American College of Surgeons’ top level of verification, or Level 1 Trauma Center, because it abides by the stringent standards that the organization has set.

Nels Sanddal, manager of Trauma Systems and Trauma Center Verification Programs at the American College of Surgeons, said the hospital has made a “higher level of commitment,” adding that it had previously been a trauma center under D.C. regulation’s definitions, but that his organization’s requirements are more serious.

“What it means for the patient is that GW will be able to meet the needs of a trauma patient at 3 a.m. on a Monday morning just as well as 9 p.m. on a Friday. They now have the resources to properly respond,” Sanddal said.

It will also create a ripple effect among medical institutions because of the organization’s strict rules for constantly evaluating services across other treatment departments.

He also added that the mark, while good for patients, could put a financial burden on the hospital.

“It has the potential to cost more simply because we require the specialists to be readily available at all hours, increased pay. It’s in the best interest of the patient,” he said.

In 2013, GW Hospital’s Trauma Center saw 1,863 patients.

Barry Wolfman, CEO and managing director of GW Hospital, said the rank was a “gold standard,” according to a release.

“Our physicians and clinical staff treat thousands of trauma cases a year to achieve the skill levels required for this distinction,” Wolfman said. “Medical research has proven repeatedly that when it comes to trauma, the higher the volume, the better the patient outcomes.”

GW earned its rating by passing “a very difficult and challenging” verification process, director of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at GW Hospital Babak Sarani said, according to a release.

“Earning this distinction reflects the high quality of care provided by our physicians, surgeons, nurses and the entire hospital’s clinical staff,” Sarani added.

Given its downtown D.C. location, GW Hospital has been at the front lines of several tragedies in the District.

A victim of the Navy Yard shooting come to the trauma center last year before being pronounced dead. The hospital also saved the life of President Ronald Reagan in 1981 after an attempted assassination.

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