Residents in South Texas will soon have another recognized trauma center to care for critically injured patients, according to a new designation by the state.
The Texas Department of State Health Services is looking Bay Area Hospital as Level II Trauma Facility.
Hospitals are given a level one through five designation, with one being the highest. Bay Area Hospital is currently at a level four trauma facility.
Not every hospital is prepared to treat trauma patients, but Bay Area Hospital has a specially trained team to care for serious emergencies.
“Trauma focuses on providing life saving care to both blunt and penetrating injuries. Many of the blunt injuries come from falls and vehicle accidents. Penetrating injuries come from stabbings, shootings, and injuries that will be life saving if not treated immediately,” said Corpus Christi Medical Center Bay Area Trauma Director Thomas Goalie.
Being a Level ll Trauma Center means they can provide a higher level of care for the most critically injured patients and provide 24-hour access to a dedicate operating room for trauma patients and specially-trained surgeons.
“Trauma is a spectrum of care and requires just about every specialty within the hospital to be upgraded and immediately available to those patients; including neurosurgery, anesthesia, emergency room, oral maxillofacial surgery, orthopedic surgery, as well as our rehabilitation type partners to get patients into the facility stabilize and rehabilitated back to the highest level of care they can be,” said Goalie.
This designation is not just an accolade for the hospital. It’s a win for everyone in the Coastal Bend.
“Having a facility that can provide access and response to patients throughout the city especially on the Southside and the Island, is critical to their outcome and survival, and the long term benefits of the city,” said Goalie.
To broaden timely access to medical care for critically injured patients, Corpus Christi Medical Center – Bay Area is upgrading its trauma capabilities and pursuing a higher level of trauma designation.
“The goal is to provide the best care for all human life and patients in the area. And that is an ultimate commitment from the administration, from the staff, and the facility to bring the highest level of care possible to all our patients,” said Goalie.
Bay Area submitted an application to the Texas Department of State Health Services and the American College of Surgeons to initiate the voluntary process of designation and verification, which requires our commitment to providing comprehensive regional care for every aspect of injury, from prevention through rehabilitation.
The hospital has been preparing for the upgraded designation for some time and anticipates the process will take fewer than three years.
“Delivering the highest quality care – especially in situations where seconds count – is critical to our mission to the care and improvement of human life,” stated Jay Woodall, CEO of Corpus Christi Medical Center. “Our hospital is leading the future of healthcare in Corpus Christi; I am proud of our team for creating a service that saves lives and improves outcomes for critically injured patients.”
Currently operating as a Level IV Trauma Center, Bay Area is pursuing certification as a (higher) Level II Center which enables our facility to treat complex cases and initiate definitive care for all injured patients.
Increased availability of care includes a comprehensive quality improvement program and 24-hour immediate coverage by general surgeons, as well as coverage by specialists in orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
Bay Area will also provide trauma prevention education in our community and training for staff and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
“Corpus Christi Medical Center is committed to a system of care that strives to reduce injury-related morbidity and mortality—getting the right patient to the right place, at the right time, to receive the right care,” said Kathleen Rubano, CNO at Corpus Christi Medical Center.
Trauma is the leading cause of death in persons aged 1 – 44 years; the years of potential life lost are staggering. Trauma can occur anywhere, at any time. Critical trauma victims must reach definitive care within a short period of time, often called the “golden hour,” to help prevent death or disability.
To ensure this occurs, specific resources must be in place and immediately accessible at all times. Studies have shown that coordination of emergency medical resources available in an area can result in a major decrease in preventable trauma death rates.
According to the American Association for Surgery of Trauma, a fully implemented statewide trauma system will have many positive consequences, including decreases in the number of trauma incidents, injury severity, the number of preventable deaths and severity of trauma-related disability.
This story has been updated to show that the facility is not yet designated a Level II facility, but they are preparing for the designation.