1000s of patients admitted to Guelph trauma centre since Level III designation

It’s been more than a year since Guelph General Hospital became a Level III Trauma Centre.

The hospital is one of six in Ontario to receive the designation. The designation is designed to ensure those with severe injuries are treated in the right location, by the right health care team, in a timely manner.

“(The designation means) Guelph General Hospital will play a more established role within the regional trauma network,” said Dr. Alex Ferguson, chief of staff at Guelph General Hospital.

“We’ll work with our lead trauma hospitals in order to treat and safely manage patients that were already coming to our hospital that is evidence-based and provides the highest quality care.”

According to a news release from the hospital, Guelph General Hospital saw 13,000 injured patients — 240 with life-threatening injuries — come to its Level III Trauma Centre since its inception in 2022.

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The designation is part of a strategic plan to improve trauma care delivery in the Waterloo-Wellington region.

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“It has taken nearly a year of hard work, inspired thought and collaboration to develop this program into the success that it is today,” said hospital president Mark Walton.

When people see the word ‘trauma’, they assumed that the injury to the person is serious or severe. But that is sometimes not the case.

While the hospital can handle most types of trauma cases,  patients who are dealing with multiple injuries are transferred to other trauma centres in the region.

“If you are in a car accident and you break a leg, that is something we can deal with it here,” Ferguson said. “If it is a bit more severe, and you have a head injury, spinal cord injury, or chest injury, we don’t have those services available to us. We would stabilize them in our emergency department and then facilitate transfer to higher levels of care.”

So far, the designation has not had an impact on the number of patients coming to the hospital for other ailments.

“Emergency room see traumatized patients every day,” Ferguson said. “While our volumes aren’t going up slowly over time, this designation doesn’t have an impact in our overall volume.”

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The hospital credits its community partners as well as a dedicated leadership team and staff in making the trauma program at Guelph General successful.


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