Resuscitation center designation: Recommendations for emergency medical services practices

C. Crawford Mechem, Jeffrey M. Goodloe, Neal J. Richmond, Bradley J. Kaufman, Paul E. Pepe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Regionalization of medical resources by designating specialty receiving centers, such as trauma and stroke centers, within emergency medical services (EMS) systems is intended to ensure the highest-quality patient care in the most efficient and fiscally responsible fashion. Significant advances in the past decade such as induction of therapeutic hypothermia following resuscitation from cardiac arrest and a time-driven, algorithmic approach to management of septic patients have created compelling arguments for similar designation for specialized resuscitative interventions. Resuscitation of critically ill patients is both labor- and resource-intensive. It can significantly interrupt emergency department (ED) patient throughput. In addition, clinical progress in developing resuscitation techniques is often dependent on the presence of a strong research infrastructure to generate and validate new therapies. It is not feasible for many hospitals to make the commitment to care for large numbers of critically ill patients and the accompanying investigational activities, whether in the prehospital, ED, or inpatient arena. Because of this, the question of whether EMS systems should designate specific hospitals as "resuscitation centers" has now come center stage. Just as EMS systems currently delineate criteria and monitor compliance for trauma, ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), and stroke centers, strong logic now exists to develop similar standards for resuscitation facilities. Accordingly, this discussion reviews the current applicable trends in resuscitation science and presents a rationale for resuscitation center designation within EMS systems. Potential barriers to the establishment of such centers are discussed and strategies to overcome them are proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-61
Number of pages11
JournalPrehospital Emergency Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • EMS
  • Resuscitation
  • Resuscitation centers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency


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