Rockford hospital designated as a pediatric trauma center

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Mercyhealth Hospital's Rockton Avenue campus has been designated as a pediatric trauma center, becoming only the fifth in Illinois.

Mercyhealth says it is the only Rockford hospital that can provide comprehensive trauma care to kids suffering from blunt trauma, penetrating wounds and head injuries.

To receive this designation, the hospital had to pass a certification process and meet national criteria and Illinois Department of Public Health standards of care. Pediatric trauma centers need to have a pediatric intensive care unit, advanced pediatric physician specialists as well as surgeons in-house around the clock. Mercyhealth says they must also offer teaching and research programs.

Mercyhealth says it has seen an increase in transfers of pediatric patients by 36 percent since the beginning of 2017.