UMH has received re-designation as a Level IV Basic Trauma Facility

Aug 16, 2019 /


Trauma Certificate Picture 2019.jpeg

After a 2-day survey by the Texas EMS Trauma and Acute Care Foundation (TETAF), Uvalde Memorial Hospital (UMH) has received re-designation as a Level IV Basic Trauma Facility by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Trauma levels range from 1-4. UMH Trauma Program has improved throughout the years, and for the first time, has achieved a survey with zero deficiencies, which is a tremendous accomplishment for any trauma facility.

“We achieved this through teamwork, hard work, and discipline. I am very proud of our team,” expresses Nelson Dungo, RN, and Trauma Coordinator.

UMH was one of a handful of hospitals throughout the state of Texas to have accomplished the survey with zero deficiencies in 2019. This achievement is hard earned, as the requirements are meticulous to ensure that there are processes, protocols, training, and resources in place to provide high quality, evidence-based trauma care for the best possible outcomes and a method for continual process improvement.

“Obtaining a perfect trauma survey score is an example of what can be accomplished when multiple departments in the hospital come together to make sure that our trauma patients are given the best care in a timely manner,” said Director of Nursing, Robert Garcia.

Medical providers and nursing staff receive specialized training for the care of trauma patients. Level IV facilities stabilize and transfer major trauma that is beyond the resources available. Level 1 Trauma Centers, such as University Hospital and San Antonio Military Medical Center, are facilities we quickly transfer major trauma to through established regional processes.

UMH is very active in South Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) participating in trauma and injury prevention committees among others, and Remote Trauma Outcomes Research Network (RemTORN). Through this platform, STRAC fosters civilian and military collaboration by designing and executing research studies relevant to trauma care in remote and austere environments, such as rural hospital systems.Specific study topics include remote damage control resuscitation, prolonged field care, en-route care, and trauma combat casualty care.

RemTORN represents the first and potentially largest investigation into the epidemiology, potential diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions, and the resulting outcomes from the trauma patients with protracted out-of-hospital time intervals.

UMH is one of four Level IV Trauma facilities that have contributed to research that has led to several regional improvements. For example, MedCom’s “Auto Accept Policy,” the Whole Blood Product Project, that has facilitated the ability for EMS and hospitals to stock whole blood. Also, Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) between Air and Ground EMS agencies that has helped transport critical patients out of hospitals with highly trained staff when weather does not allow for air transport.

Emergency Department Director, Julia Rodriquez, RN MSN, and Nelson Dungo, RN, Trauma Coordinator, will be named as co-authors in a manuscript pending publishing titled “Clinical Roundtable – An initiative to improve communication processes between rural trauma referral facilities and Level One trauma centers”.

Dungo has dedicated six years in this position. His passion for the Emergency Department and Trauma care is evident through his work and desire to improve care internally, as well as throughout the community through injury prevention. “I am very proud to work alongside a phenomenal group of individuals who share this same passion for trauma and serving our community,” says Rodriquez.

Rodriquez, Dungo, and UMH ER staff continuously volunteer time in Uvalde and the surrounding areas to provide community education to reduce and prevent injuries.

Heat safety is a significant concern in our area and in addition to teaching how to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke, the use of car temperature display shows the dangers of leaving children and pets in a hot vehicle. Other topics are water safety (river and pool), to reduce drowning; firework safety to prevent burns or other injuries; the community’s number one mechanism of injury, fall prevention; and providing basic first aid and Stop the Bleed courses for hemorrhage control. 

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