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.