Seton Medical Center Hays now trauma center

When faced with a life-threatening medical condition-- Hays County residents no longer have to make the trip to Austin.
Seton Medical Center Hays in Kyle just earned the title of advanced trauma care center.

On Friday Seton Medical Center Hays announced a new level of care. The hospital recently earned the title of advanced trauma care center.

"You don't have to travel anymore,” said Chief Medical Officer Fausto Meza, MD.

Chief Medical Officer Fausto Meza says for the past year staff has trained to treat patients experiencing life-threatening medical conditions.

"We ran drills, we went through scenarios helicopters landed on our pad, we practiced that. We took a patient from the helipad or an ambulance to this room where a team would take care of their injured then go to an OR for surgery,” said Meza.

Seton Hays also invested $500 thousand dollars-worth of upgrades to its operating rooms and emergency rooms.

Meza says as long as a patient has a heart rate within normal limits his staff can treat them.

"We have the same trauma surgeons as well as orthopedic surgeons as Austin has. So we will not be turning away those fractures of those patients who fall from a bull or off that ladder and if they're stable they come here and we take care of them,” said Meza.

Meza says the difference will be about 30 patients a month.

The change comes at a good time for San Marcos Hays County EMS. Chief David Smith expects paramedics to respond to 14-thousand incidents along i-5 alone this upcoming year. That's a 50 percent increase from two years ago.

"You know the Austin traffic, turnaround time has become excessive. Sometimes its 1 1/2 to two hours before an ambulance can be back in the City of Kyle for another call so it puts a real strain on resources,” said Smith.

To further enhance care for trauma patients, Seton donated two state-of-the-art ambulances to smith's crew.

“Having the expanded capabilities here and their plans to continue to expand is going to keep the ambulances here in the local communities responding to patient calls. It's also better for patient outcomes. They get to stay local to home. It's shorter for families to come in and visit when they're having their procedures and post-op. So it's really exciting. The citizens of Kyle should be excited about this,” said Smith.