Prince George's General Hospital and Medical Center was recently designated by the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services as an areawide trauma center, the second in the state of Maryland.

Prince George's has been operating a trauma service for many years, and in the last year it has been further developed under the direction of Dr. Joseph Colella Jr., director of critical care services. The new designation officially defines the area of coverage of the Prince George's Center as an area within reach by ambulance in 20 minutes.

The Center was established by using available equipment, personnel, and resources of the hospital and emergency services department. An additional trauma room, already planned, is expected to be incorporated into the existing system with the completion of a new wing in mid-1978.

Three trauma teams, one on duty at all times, provide coverage to the service around the clock. The team consists of a surgeon in the fifth year of training, an attending surgeon, available within 15 minutes, an anesthetist, a respiratory therapist, and other nurses and technicians.

"The hospital's designation as an areawide trauma center for the State of Maryland provides citizens of Prince George's County with a facility that can stabilize and rapidly treat critically injured patients," according to Dr. Colella. "This establishes a much needed echelon of care at the local level," he said.

The hospital's trauma service is aided by the Mobile Intensive Care Units which now operate in Prince George's County. The Units allow telephone communication between doctors in the hospital and trained paramedics who can begin treatment on the way to the hospital under the doctors' supervision.