As a Level IV Trauma Center, Fort Duncan Regional Medical Center is equipped to provide advanced trauma life support, including initial evaluation, stabilization and diagnosis in the event of a medical emergency. In order to achieve Level IV status, the hospital must be surveyed and designated by the state every three years, explains Nelson Dungo, RN, trauma coordinator and trauma registrar for Fort Duncan Regional. Surveyors inspect the facility and protocols, review performance improvement and verify credentials for doctors and nurses, who have special trauma training.
In many cases, patients may be treated onsite. If more specialized treatment is needed, protocols are in place to transfer patients to a higher level of care. “An advantage with us is that we can take care of transfers immediately,” Dungo explains. The hospital has a helicopter landing base and maintains a close relationship with advanced facilities in San Antonio, including University Hospital and SAMMC (San Antonio Military Medical Center). Through the South Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC), the MEDCOM system is used to arrange transfers with just one phone call. “Our goal is to stabilize the patient and get out of here within two hours,” Dungo says. If needed, patients may be given blood or intubated en route.
Along with swift emergency care, the hospital also provides education in the community about injury prevention. This incudes working with older adults to prevent falls, which are a major cause of injuries. Regular meetings are held with hospital and EMS personnel to talk about ways they can work together to achieve performance improvement. Dungo says the goal is to provide the best possible care and always be asking, “How can we do better?”
If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
Care For Falls and Fractures
Since welcoming board-certified orthopedic surgeon Andre L. Thomas, MD, to the community in 2017, Fort Duncan Regional can now provide care for many orthopedic injuries like hip fractures, knee fractures and broken bones. This means patients don’t have to travel outside of the area for treatment, and can stay close to their families and loved ones. “This is having a very big impact,” says Dungo.