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Posted on: September 28, 2018

COUNTY NEEDS A LEVEL 1 TRAUMA CENTER, CLOSEST CENTER IS OVER 240 MILES AWAY

Trauma (3)

In an emergency, when a patient has suffered severe trauma, the best care can be found at a Level 1 Trauma Center, which has to meet rigorous standards to receive certification.


Although there is a Level II trauma facility in Cameron County, the nearest Level 1 Trauma Center is at a hospital over 240 miles away, said physicians and a trauma surgeon from Doctors Hospital at Renaissance who presented at Commissioners Court Tuesday, seeking support for legislative efforts to make funding available to strengthen the trauma network.


"The trauma network recognized a glaring hole when Hurricane Ike hit in Houston," said trauma surgeon Dr. Raul Barreda. "The county has no Level I facility."


The Trauma Network in the State of Texas is comprised of 22 regions and includes 18

Level I Comprehensive Trauma Facilities, 21 Level II Major Trauma Facilities, 56 Level III Advanced Trauma Facilities and 193 Level IV Basic Trauma Facilities, said DHR Chairman of the Board Dr. Carlos Cardenas.


Approximately 40 Texans die every day due to traumatic injuries, and for every one that dies, at least six are injured.


"We are 1.5 million people in our region, yet the nearest level one Trauma Center is over 240 miles away in Houston," said Cardenas. "We thank you for passing the Resolutiontoday."


Barreda said there is a Level II Trauma Center in Cameron County, but not in Hidalgo County.


The Rio Grande Valley is situated along the Texas Gulf Coast which may pose significant threats to life and property due to tropical storms, hurricanes, and other inclement weather events.


"By having a Level I trauma center in our area, along with the UTRGV School of Medicine, it gives us the ability to train the next level of surgeons who will stay in our area," said Cardenas.


Hidalgo County Commissioners Court supports ongoing legislative efforts to make funding available to strengthen the Texas Trauma Network.


Photo: L-R: from DHR Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Martinez, Trauma Surgeon Dr. Raul Barreda, and Chairman of the Board Dr. Carlos Cardenas. They stressed the need for a Level I trauma center here. Currently the nearest is over 240 miles away.

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