BRENHAM, Texas A trauma-level downgrade at Scott & White in Brenham could mean changes in where severely injured patients end up.
The hospital announced its Brenham campus would downgrade from a level 3 to a level 4. The downgrade comes with several changes. Among them, the hospital will no longer have an on-call ER trauma surgeon. Patients with more severe injuries will be transported to the nearest level 3 or level 2 hospital, currently in Bryan-College Station.
"Anytime that a community downgrades to a lower health care service, I think it's an unfortunate thing," said Washington County ER Director, Kevin Deramus.
Deramus said there is a bright side for the Brazos Valley region as a whole. In this case, it's in Bryan, where St. Joseph Hospital recently upgraded to a level 2 trauma center.
"We now have a trauma center that can take any type of trauma patient, where as before, we couldn't do that," said Deramus.
Deramus said overall, the downgrade isn't such a bad thing.
"Is that unfortunate for us, here locally? Maybe a little. But most significant trauma patients didn't go to that hospital anyway," said Deramus.
Deramus said he doesn't expect to see a huge increase in the number of transported patients, but only time will tell.
In a statement, Scott & White officials said the reasons for the changes were "multi-factorial, and reflect the changing landscape of medicine across our community, state and nation."
Hospital officials said the vast majority of patients will still be able to receive care at the Brenham hospital.