The quality of care available to residents of the North Dallas Corridor just got better. Dallas Medical Center (DMC), located in the heart of the Corridor, has just been designated as a Level IV Trauma Center by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Being designated as this type of trauma center means the facility is available to stabilize all major and severe trauma patients 24 hours per day/7 days per week.
According to the State, trauma is the leading cause of death in persons aged 1 – 44 years old, with nearly 30 Texans dying every day from injuries. When it comes to trauma, timing is critical. Ask any emergency clinician and they will tell you the “golden hour” (the first hour after an injury) is the most important time to receive care in order to prevent death or disability.
Realizing how important it is to provide immediate care to those suffering injuries, executives at DMC saw an opportunity to help the community. Previously, if someone was seriously injured in the area served by DMC, the closest trauma center was more than six miles away. Anyone who drives in Dallas knows traffic is always a challenge, even on city streets, and even for emergency vehicles. Precious minutes of the golden hour might be lost while transporting the injured patient. Now there is a trauma center right off of I-635 and Webb Chapel Road.
“We’re always looking for ways to better serve our community,” said JT Barnhart, CEO of Dallas Medical Center. “We had heard from some of our first responders and city officials that it would be helpful to have a trauma center in this area of DFW, so we worked with them to put a plan together, and this is the result. Now we can provide an even higher level of care to our neighbors and those in our community.”
Barnhart continued, “Most trauma patients will be brought to the hospital by an ambulance, so those people don’t necessarily choose where to go when they’re injured. But for those people who drive to the ER for a non-traumatic event (such as a broken bone, flu, deep cuts, abdominal pain, etc.), they are still cared for by staff members who are trained to provide a high level of care and have a sense of urgency. So even though these patients may not need a trauma team, they’ll likely still be treated by staff members with trauma training, and it’s hard to argue that a health care provider with extra training isn’t a good thing.”
Recognizing community needs is nothing new for the team at DMC: two years ago they established a No Wait ER after hearing about the long waits some patients experienced at other hospitals and some free-standing emergency rooms. Emergency room patients at DMC are taken from the registration area to a triage room in a matter of minutes. One year ago, DMC opened Believe Bariatrics, a clinic which provides medical and surgical options for those patients struggling to lose weight. And just a few months ago, DMC added a service line to help battle the opioid crisis affecting thousands of people in DFW. Under this program, those who suffer from addiction are able to go through a medically-managed withdrawal process, all the time under the careful supervision of medical doctors and specially-trained staff.
Adding this trauma designation to the list of services is just another way DMC is committed to serving the residents of the North Dallas Corridor.