Brooke Army Medical Center to take in additional trauma patients amid COVID-19 spike

BAMC is receiving trauma patients from 22 counties across Southwest Texas

Members of the 555th Forward Surgical Team rush a simulated trauma patient to surgery during training with the Strategic Trauma Readiness Center of San Antonio (STaRC) at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, May 28, 2020. The STaRC training program leverages the expertise and capabilities across multiple healthcare disciplines at BAMC, the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, the Medical Center of Excellence, the Joint Trauma System and the Air Force 59th Medical Wing to provide deploying surgical teams with the most realistic and comprehensive wartime skills certification.  (U.S. Army photo by Jason W. Edwards)
Members of the 555th Forward Surgical Team rush a simulated trauma patient to surgery during training with the Strategic Trauma Readiness Center of San Antonio (STaRC) at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, May 28, 2020. The STaRC training program leverages the expertise and capabilities across multiple healthcare disciplines at BAMC, the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, the Medical Center of Excellence, the Joint Trauma System and the Air Force 59th Medical Wing to provide deploying surgical teams with the most realistic and comprehensive wartime skills certification. (U.S. Army photo by Jason W. Edwards) (Jason W Edwards)

SAN ANTONIO – The Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) is taking on more trauma patients as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise locally.

The hospital said it is receiving all inter-facility transfers of injured patients who need higher-level care from 22 counties across Southwest Texas.

Deputy Commander for surgical services at BAMC, Patrick Osborn, said with the hospital accepting more trauma patients, it can free up more beds for those with severe cases of COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, traumatic injuries and other emergent medical conditions do not stop during a pandemic so these baseline requirements for patient care remain,” Osborn said in a release. “Our increased role helps ensure the regional trauma system remains intact despite the increasing healthcare system stress caused by the current surge.”

BAMC is a Level 1 Trauma Center and has taken in trauma patients three times throughout the pandemic when COVID-19 hospitalizations first began to spike, according to Osborn.

Now, with the Delta variant causing another increase in hospitalizations and with lax mask mandates, Osborn said the healthcare system could face more challenges than it ever did before.

“This is an important step in preserving healthcare resources in what could be a far greater increase in COVID cases than we have seen to date,” Osborn said. “We hope that BAMC’s ability to take on more of the region’s requirements will ease the stress on this vital trauma system.”

BAMC said it will work with the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council and University Hospital to create a system during times of crisis.

University Hospital and Brooke Army Medical Center said they provide care to more than 6,000 emergency patients and 750 of those are burn patients.

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About the Author:

Emily Martin is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.