Sparks Regional Medical Center Added to State's Trauma Network

Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith has been added to the state's network of trauma hospitals, the facility announced Thursday.

Sparks now is one of 19 Arkansas hospitals designated as a level III trauma center. Such facilities are equipped to provide treatment for most traumatic injuries, according to a Sparks news release. The Arkansas Department of Health determines a hospital's status based on staffing and structure in place to handle trauma patients.

Level I trauma centers are those facilities providing the highest level of surgical care to trauma patients. The trauma system recognizes five levels of care. The Arkansas trauma system includes five level I facilities, five level II hospitals and a total of 58 trauma centers, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

The level I trauma centers are Arkansas Children's Hospital and UAMS Medical Center in Little Rock; Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn., and St. John's Regional Health Center of Springfield, Mo.

Level II centers are: Baptist Health Medical Center and St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock; Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville; Mercy Hospital Hot Springs, and Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff.

ADH lists injury as the top cause of death among Arkansans ages 1 to 44. It estimates the trauma system, funded by tobacco settlement money in 2009, will save almost 170 lives and roughly $193 million each year.