Injury types decide place of treatment

I have noticed that several people seriously injured recently in area car crashes were transported by ambulance to Rogue Regional Medical Center for treatment and then later transferred to Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield. What does the Springfield hospital have going for it that would be better suited to treat these seriously injured people? I always thought Rogue Regional Medical Center was a first-class hospital.

— David P., Central Point

We assume you are speaking of the recent double-fatal crash on Highway 140 east of White City that happened Jan. 11, David. In that crash, two Klamath Falls women died and a Connecticut man was transferred to the Springfield hospital for treatment.

In those cases, the quality of the hospital had less to do with who went where and more to do with what doctor was most qualified to do a particular job, according to Rogue Regional Medical Center spokesman Grant Walker.

"Sometimes when you have a certain type of injury, say a specific kind of pelvic fracture, we will transfer a patient to a hospital with a doctor who specializes in that form of treatment," Walker said. "If Springfield has a doctor on staff who can best treat the patient, the patient will be sent there."

RRMC and Providence Medford Medical Center can treat most types of traumatic injuries.

Both alternate duty for accepting trauma patients on certain days.

Sometimes a local hospital will have a doctor qualified to treat an injury, but he or she will be in surgery or out of the area. In that case, a patient will be transferred to another hospital that has a doctor available to perform the treatment, Walker said.

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