NOME (AP) -- Norton Sound Regional Hospital in Nome has become Alaska's first Level IV trauma center, according to the state health department.
''Mortality rates for Alaska Natives due to unintentional injuries are more than twice the overall state rates,'' said Jay Livey, commissioner of the health department. ''Norton Sound Regional Hospital recognized this great need in northwest Alaska, and their achievement benefits everyone in the region.''
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has set the criteria for Level IV centers. Hospitals must provide initial evaluation of injured patients, resuscitation, stabilization, as well as preparation of the patient needing to be transferred to another hospital.
In 1999, the state certified the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage as a Level II trauma center, the highest designation in Alaska today, the health department said.
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