Central Maine Medical Center is a Leader in Trauma Care

Central Maine Medical Center has long been a leader in emergency and trauma care. In fact, CMMC was the first hospital in Maine to establish a full-time, around-the-clock emergency service in 1970. CMMC is now one of three trauma centers in Maine and operates one of the busiest emergency departments in the state. More than 800 trauma patients come through the CMMC Emergency Department (ED) each year.

Although area surgeons have always treated accident victims, a trauma surgery service created in the mid-1990s galvanized CMMC's ability to care for seriously-injured patients.

Because CMMC was fortunate to have a number of outstanding surgeons on staff, the development of the hospital's Trauma Program hinged primarily on organization and leadership. This task fell to Larry O. Hopperstead, M.D., a former medical director of the CMMC Emergency Department who help found Tri-County Emergency Medical Services in the 1970s. Dr. Hopperstead left CMMC in the early 1980s to pursue training as a surgeon.

Dr. Hopperstead's return to CMMC in 1994 heralded the beginning of the hospital's eventually successful effort to be designated as one of the state's three trauma referral centers.

Dr. Hopperstead helped organize the hospital's surgical expertise into a protocol-based, quick-response system allowing the organization to provide high-quality, definitive trauma management. Since the program was established, statistical analysis of the treatment outcomes and survival for trauma patients indicates that the quality of trauma care at CMMC is equal to the quality of care offered at major metropolitan trauma centers across the country.

"Trauma is a societal epidemic. The best way to manage this epidemic is to prevent injuries in the first place. When that has failed, the treatment of major trauma is very time-related, and requires the development of systems that focus on rapid evaluation, resuscitation and stabilization of multiple-injured patients. These trauma systems, like the one we've created at CMMC, must extend from the pre-hospital response in the field to emergency department care to surgery, and finally to the critical care unit," Dr. Hopperstead explains.

"Trauma care cuts across the entire fabric of capabilities and services of an acute-care hospital. The excellent outcomes achieved by trauma patients at CMMC speaks well of the Medical Center's entire range of capabilities," Dr. Hopperstead says.