Grand Strand Medical Center better prepared to handle pediatric and adult trauma patients


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – More services and more certified medical staff are now available to handle critical trauma cases that could save you or your loved one’s life in the event of an emergency.

In one of the trauma rooms at Grand Strand Medical Center, there could be as many as 15 members of the trauma team assisting with a critically injured patient.

“All of our staff is trained with our trauma nurses, our advanced care practitioners, and trauma doctors,” said Dr. Antonio Pepe, trauma medical director for GSMC.

The trauma program at GSMC has received designation as a level one adult trauma center and level two pediatric trauma center by the Bureau of EMS and Trauma, with recommendations from the Trauma Advisory Council from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

“We have a designated team ready to respond to any trauma that arrives and every trauma, whether its level one or level two or even a consult, is treated with the highest priority,” Pepe said.

He added that trauma can range from falls from heights and motorcycle crashes, to car accidents and golf carts injuries. Pepe said the hospital can provide the highest level of comprehensive care for critically injured patients with a 24/7 in-house board certified surgeon who has an additional specialty in critical care.

“Our goal is our community’s health and well-being. As a level one center, what we’ve committed ourselves to is research and education through the development of a strong residency program, and research and outreach,” Pepe said.

Grand Strand Health has been expanding its children’s care services at GSMC with a pediatric-intensive care unit, a pediatric inpatient unit, a pediatric emergency room and pediatric education for providers, which meets several of the level two pediatric trauma center requirements.

Pepe said the hospital did not previously have any certification as a pediatric trauma center. Instead, they were simply acting as an adult care center, caring for pediatric patients. Now, parents, guardians and family can know they will receive a high level of quality without the worries of being transferred to another facility.

In the past, children would be transferred to another facility from GSMC, but Pepe said critically injured patients can now receive care at home.

Mark Sims, chief executive officer for Grand Strand Health, said the trauma program has experienced significant growth since its inception in 2010, and the designation is another example of the hospital’s commitment to providing quality care.

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