Posts tagged ‘trauma care’

May 30, 2013

St. Joseph Now a Level II Trauma Center


We’re pleased to announce the trauma program at St. Joseph has been verified as a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and designated as a Level II Trauma Center by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

This achievement recognizes St. Joseph’s dedication to providing optimal care for patients suffering from all types of injuries, including those that are life-threatening.

The ACS Evaluation Process:

The American College of Surgeons verifies the existence of certain resources.  Some things they consider include readiness, commitment, policies, patient care and performance improvement.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is an injury or wound caused by something outside the body.  Trauma can be caused by things like falls, car accidents and weapons.

  • Trauma centers handle the most severe, life-threatening, blunt force and penetrating injuries that require operations and other interventions by multiple specialists.
  • Trauma centers provide comprehensive care to all trauma patients and can decrease the likelihood of fatality from trauma by 25-percent.  (Source: Trauma Center Association of America.)
  • Only one in 10 U.S. hospitals is a major trauma center.  Meaning 45-million Americans don’t have access to a Level I or Level II trauma center within an hour of being injured.  (Trauma Center Association of America.)

Trauma affects people from all walks of life.  As the area’s population grows, the risk for trauma increases.

What is a Trauma Level?

These categories are national standards for trauma care.  Levels one through four refer to the kinds of resources available at a trauma center and the number of patients admitted yearly.  As the trauma level number decreases, trauma capabilities increase.

What did St. Joseph change?

Formally, St. Joseph had been the Lead Level III Trauma Center for the Brazos Valley.  In 2007 and 2010, St. Joseph was encouraged by state surveyors to seek Level II Trauma designation because we already met many of the Level II criteria and capabilities.

To be evaluated as a Level II Trauma Center, St. Joseph had to demonstrate that it could operate to that standard.

With centers of excellence for advanced neurosurgery care and orthopedic care, St. Joseph has long-provided a high level of trauma care for patients with neuro or orthopedic injuries.  As we moved toward our Level II designation, more physicians with specific trauma surgery expertise were recruited.  Dr. Adair de Berry-Carlisle, a board-certified trauma surgeon joined St. Joseph as our Trauma Center Medical Director.

What St. Joseph’s Level II Designation Means for the Brazos Valley:

While we met many of the requirements for a Level II designation for some time, this formal recognition allows EMS crews and the public to know our trauma capabilities are the most advanced in the region and have surpassed all other local providers.

Having this level of trauma care available in our region allows patients access to high quality trauma care for the best possible outcome. Closer to home.

ACS did not just examine our hospital resources necessary for trauma care.  Evaluators considered whether or not we could provide comprehensive care for all injured patients.

Their designation means we have the expertise, equipment and programs in place to care for every part of the patient and family’s experience – from EMS to ER to imaging, lab, surgery, spiritual care, hospital nursing units and rehabilitation.

St. Joseph knows trauma care is a team effort involving every department and we’re ready.

About St. Joseph’s Trauma Program:

  • St. Joseph is the most advanced and only Level II Trauma Center a between Houston, Temple, Austin and San Antonio.
  • Our Trauma Centers are ready when you need us – covering more than 10 counties.
  • We work as a team with over 10 EMS agencies across the BrazosValley to ensure patients receive the most advanced trauma care possible.  St. Joseph regularly shares best practices and innovations – not just in the counties we provide the primary 911 response, or in Bryan, where one of our ER physicians is the Medical Director for the Bryan Fire Department – but everywhere our trauma reach extends.
  • St. Joseph is the primary 911 Service Provider for BurlesonCounty, GrimesCounty – and starting June 1, MadisonCounty.
  • Dr. Aaron Buzzard, a St. Joseph Emergency Physician, is the Medical Director of the Bryan Fire Department as well as many local EMS departments.
  • St. Joseph’s Trauma Program is one of only a handful in the nation that operates both a ground and air ambulance service.
  • St. Joseph AirMedical is housed at our hospital in Bryan.  Crew members gain hospital experience in the ER and trauma care while rounding with ER physicians and trauma surgeons..  The result is seamless coordination of care.
  • In the last 5 years, St. Joseph has cared for more than 16,000 trauma patients system-wide.
  • 40% of our trauma cases were caused by a fall, 30% by car crashes.
October 2, 2012

St. Joseph ER Physician Named Medical Director, Bryan Fire Department

The City of Bryan has named Aaron Buzzard, M.D., St. Joseph Emergency Physician, Medical Director of the Bryan Fire Department (BFD).

This initiative is expected to improve emergency care in Bryan and BrazosCounty and allow for seamless care from the scene to the hospital.

Patients will directly benefit from this partnership.  Benefits from this agreement:

  • Dr. Buzzard and other St. Joseph ER physicians are authorized to communicate medical advice to medics in-field, when requested.
  • Dr. Buzzard can respond to the scene when needed in the event of serious emergencies.
  • Dr. Buzzard will develop training curriculum for BFD medics.
  • Improved training for BFD medics, who will have the opportunity to train in the Emergency Department and learn from doctors and specialists at St. Joseph.  Dr. Buzzard will also provide in-field medical training to EMS crews.
  • BFD now has access to the latest evidence-based procedures, protocols and research at St. Joseph.  If a protocol change is needed, BFD can adapt simultaneously with the hospital.

Bryan Fire Department Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

  • Bryan Fire Department continually analyzes to improve its ability to provide the highest level of patient care.
  • BFD operates four ALS ambulances every day, along with a paramedic supervisor, and every fire truck is staffed with at least one paramedic.
  • In 2011, BFD responded to 7,150 medical calls which is over 78% of all calls responded to by BFD.
  • In 2011, 5,707 transports were made and over 95% were taken to St. JosephRegionalHealthCenter in Bryan.

BFD has operated under medical direction from a Dallas-based doctor since 1995.  While EMS care has been very good, the ability to interact with the Medical Director was not possible due to his location.  BFD has been looking for a group of local physicians to partner with to bring the medical direction locally.

The medical director of an EMS agency is a physician who provides guidance, leadership, oversight and quality assurance for the practice of local paramedics and EMTs.  The medical director is generally responsible for the creation of protocols for treatment by paramedics and providing leadership to the group of physicians who assist with the provision of medical oversight. The medical director may also assist the EMS agency in extending its scope of practice.

About Dr. Buzzard

Dr. Aaron Buzzard has been a Board-Certified ER Physician for seven years, four of which have been with St. Joseph.  He spent 10 years in the Army and eight in the Army National Guard and Army Reserves.  During that time he served four combat tours in Iraq at a Level 1 Trauma Center and on-board fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.   He also has experience as a combat medic and EMT.

Dr. Buzzard and his family at the press conference.

After receiving his undergraduate degree from TexasA&MUniversity, Dr. Buzzard attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.  He completed his residency at DarnallArmyHospital in Fort Hood, Texas, and received additional trauma training in Houston, Dallas, Austin and Detroit.

Along with the other physicians who see patients at St. Joseph ERs, Dr. Buzzard is directly employed by Emergency Services Partners (ESP).

Trauma Care Capabilities Expanding at St. Joseph

Currently, St. Joseph Regional is designated as the Lead Level 3 trauma hospital in our seven-county region.  Early next year, St. Joseph expects to receive a Level 2 designation.  At that time, St. Joseph Regional will be the only Level 2 Trauma Center between Waco and Houston.

With paramedics from the City of Bryan Fire Department, St. Joseph and St. Joseph AirMedical collaborating to provide life-saving, excellent care, it is these organizations’ and agencies’ shared goal that the result be a seamless experience for patients.

In 2011, St. Joseph treated:

  • 1,678 trauma patients
  • 461 acute heart attack patients
  • 486 stroke patients
  • 4,900 chest pain patients
  • 68,405 ER patients (55,601 in Bryan) (12,804 in College Station)

Check out more photos on our Facebook page: