Trauma Care in East Texas

by Jessica Cervantez

If you ever find yourself in a trauma care facility, you want to receive the best possible care. Now, East Texas hospitals are trying to find ways to improve their trauma care.

In East Texas, there is a high mortality rate in trauma cases. Health experts want to do what they can to change that.

Scott Christopher, the trauma care coordinator of Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital, said, "There is a high number on mortality, because, here, if you run off the road you hit a big tree. Like in West Texas if you run off the road you can just get back on."

Out of about 5-hundred trauma patients a year treated at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital, about 15 of those patients die. Motor vehicle crashes and falls in the elderly are what hospitals see.

In East Texas, there are four designated trauma centers, with Nacogdoches having one of the highest levels.

Christopher said, "Nacogdoches Memorial is a Level three, and Sabine, Livingston and Tyler are Level four."

During emergencies, paramedics want to be able to help you in what is known as the "Golden Hour."

Zeke Martinez, an EMT paramedic supervisor, said, "For example, if you have an accident in Etoile, we want to respond quickly. It may take a long time to get there and back and get the person back to the appropriate facility in one hour, it's very critical."

Trauma is the most common cause of death in people ages one through 34-years-old. Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital sees an average of al little more than one admitted trauma patient a day.