Ascension Seton expands trauma care at newest teaching hospital


Doctors and nurses pulling hospital trolley,

Dell Ascension Seton now accepting burn patients

 Now you can count on Ascension Seton to care for even more of your emergency needs at Dell Ascension Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, which launched a new burn program this August.

The burn program enhances the existing world-class trauma care at Seton’s newest teaching hospital, and treats burns covering 30 percent or less of the body’s surface area.

Seton is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

Ben Coopwood, MD, is heading up the burn initiative along with Dell Seton’s trauma team. He said Ascension Seton has increased its resources, including an extensive surgical ICU and a growing plastic surgery program. These resources allow for more support and bandwidth to care for burn patients.

“We are really excited to share this program with the community,” Coopwood said. “We felt like we could responsibly expand our burn services now that our medical offerings have matured throughout the last five to 10 years.”

The burn program is designed with the American Burn Association guidelines at the center of its model. Dell Ascension Seton physicians can care for burns to specific areas of the body, including face, hands, feet and joints, for anyone age 15 or older.

What you need to know about burns

Many serious injuries occur because of burns.

Disasters like explosions and fires can cause serious injuries, including thermal burns, which are caused when you come into contact with flames, hot liquids, surfaces and other sources of high heat, as well as chemical and electrical burns, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the ABA, 73 percent of burns happen at home, so it’s important when to know to go to the hospital. Coopwood said you should go to the emergency room if you have a blistering burn larger than your hand or if the burn causes your skin to feel like leather.

These types of injuries are why Ascension Seton leaders felt it was important to establish structured burn care at Dell Seton.

Receiving burn treatment during an emergency

Before the burn program launched, patients needed to be transferred to San Antonio or Dallas for treatment. But now care is offered closer to home without needing to travel.

Patients with burn surface areas greater than 30 percent still need to travel to San Antonio or Dallas for care. However, for large or complex burns, initial wound care is now performed by Dell Seton’s trauma surgeons.

What can I be treated for at Dell Seton?

Dell Ascension Seton opened May 21 and is person-centered in its design. The hospital treats the most critically injured patients and is anticipated to be the only adult Level I Trauma Center in Central Texas.

Patients with emergency mental health needs can now also be cared for inside Dell Seton’s emergency department. A specialized, psychiatric team is available 24/7 for patients in psychiatric crisis. Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis should call 9-1-1 or visit their closest emergency department.

The medical center is the primary teaching hospital for Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin.