The Med's Trauma Status Renewed
By JANET PHELPS
Eagle Staff Writer
State officials have renewed the College Station Medical Center's designation as a general trauma center, officials announced Thursday.
Bryan-College Station has had two Level III, or general, trauma centers since late 2005, when The Med initially received the designation. St. Joseph Regional Health Center is also designated as a Level III trauma center.
The Med's trauma center coordinator, Rick Moore, said Thursday that the hospitals' designation allowed them to care for the soldiers injured in a Black Hawk helicopter crash on Texas A&M University campus this month.
"The trauma center designation and all the extra training is what enabled us to do such a good job with the Black Hawk crash. That's us and [St. Joseph Regional Health Center]. Both facilities did fantastic jobs," he said. "If we had not had these designations, we would not have been able to provide the level of care that we did."
The Texas Department of State Health Services recognizes four levels of trauma facility designations, Level I being the highest.
According to the department's Web site, Level III facilities -- such as St. Joseph Regional Health Center and The Med -- "provide prompt assessment, resuscitation and emergency intervention for severely injured trauma patients."
Those needing more specialized care are often transferred to cities with Level I or II trauma centers, such as Houston or San Antonio.
"It means we have a good trauma program, to put it simply," Moore said.
Hospitals with trauma centers must reapply for the designation every three years. The process takes about 18 months and includes a 32-page application and a site visit from state officials.
Beverly Welch, St. Joseph Regional Health Center director of emergency services, said Thursday that about 190 people visit the Bryan emergency room each day.
The Med's ER sees about 76 patients per day, Moore said.
"I think the citizens of Bryan-College Station and of the Brazos Valley as a whole are very lucky to have two Level III facilities of the quality that we have," he said.