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St. Francis to become first trauma center in Region 8

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 11:19 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A trauma center is in the works for Region 8. St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe has plans to be a level three trauma center by August 1, 2021. This will be the region’s first trauma center.

“Up into this point, Region 8 has not had an organized functioning trauma center of any level,” said Chief Medical Officer Thomas Gullatt.

St. Francis Medical Center just announced their plans to become a level three trauma center. Chief Medical Officer Thomas Gullatt said right now the hospital can’t treat certain cases.

“A number of patients have ended up having to be transferred to other parts of the state when they come in with significant injuries. Becoming a level three trauma center will enable us to do a better job of taking care of those trauma patients,” said Gullatt.

Gullatt said with the hospital becoming a level three trauma center, they will not be turning people away.

“To provide better care to those patients and also to enable them to be able to stay in our region and not have to be transported to other parts of the state,” said Gullatt.

Before becoming a level three trauma center, Gullatt said the hospital has to follow specific protocols, policies, and procedures from the American College of Surgeons.

“You also have a committee of physicians that are involved in trauma care, which involves general surgery, orthopedic surgery, anesthesia, emergency room physicians, and the ICU physicians,” said Gullatt.

Emergency medical crews said having a local trauma center is great news.

“So since they will be a level three Trauma Center, we’ll be able to route patients to our local hospitals, instead of having to send them to either rapides, or to Shreveport,” said David Hubbard from Acadian Ambulance.

Hubbard said it will not only benefit patients, it will help crews like ambulance workers.

“Saves us a lot of time, a lot of resources,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard said having a local hospital to bring trauma patients will cut down response times.

“It’s closer for the patients. It’s better for us, we’re not having to travel as far to give them what they need. And so the patients getting what they need a lot quicker,” said Hubbard.

Thomas Gullatt said he’s been a resident of Monroe since 1989. He said it’s a great thing to be able to provide trauma care to the community.

“To be able to provide a higher level of care to be able to keep those patients home close to their families close to their community,” said Gullatt.

A level one trauma center provides the highest level of surgical care. The closest one is in Shreveport.

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