KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — Last year Seton Medical Center Hays became a level III trauma center. With the amount of growth and need of trauma services, it’s now on track to upgrade to a Level II trauma center by the fall.
From the beginning of 2016 to the end of this year, the hospital says it will go from having to transport every trauma patient to being able to treat almost all of them.
“The community deserves this level of care and as it grows we need to be able to grow and meet those needs as well,” said Seton Medical Center Hays chief operating officer Neal Kelley.
Kelley says the hospital works with medics who service a large area from Smithville to San Marcos and to Blanco.
He says the 60-mile drive isn’t what’s weighing on the medics driving ambulances, it’s the 20 miles into major cities.
“All of those services tell us the same thing, which is it’s growing more and more difficult to get patients into the downtown Austin and San Antonio areas,” said Kelley.
With traffic likely always to be an issue, the hospital knew it needed to grow quickly. By fall of this year, the hospital says it expects to move from a level III trauma hospital to a level II, increasing their ability to treat more severe injuries on-site.
“Level II trauma will allow us to basically keep everything except really highly specialized things like burns. We’ll be able to treat burns and other injuries, but there are a few really specialized things that will still have to go downtown,” said Kelley. “But the vast majority of traumatic injuries and conditions will be able to be treated right here at Hays.”
The new status allows locals to stay local and those driving ambulances to stay out of traffic.
“We’ll be able to provide those services here in the corridor that will prevent those EMS providers from having to go downtown two and three times a day. So, they’re very excited about it, it will allow them to bring patients here, turn around their trucks quickly and get back into service where they belong,” said Kelley.