• 530.541.3420 | 2170 South Avenue, S. Lake Tahoe, CA

Barton Health is Prepared for Crises with Elevated Care

The safety and well-being of Lake Tahoe residents and visitors is Barton Health’s top priority. Staff and physicians regularly train for a variety of emergency and disaster situations, as the remote and mountainous local geography requires the entire healthcare system to remain ready to care for patients during wildfire, flood and avalanche, in addition to treating traumatic injuries.

Trauma Center elevates care
Designated by the American College of Surgeons as a Level III Trauma Center, Barton Memorial Hospital offers the region expanded blood bank capabilities, expedited patient evaluation and triage, priority access to diagnostic technology, and an increased care team aptitude and preparation for traumatic injuries. Highly-trained surgeons and emergency physicians are experienced in treating a wide variety of traumatic injuries. The skilled clinical teams who work with these physicians are available around the clock to provide rapid, lifesaving-care to patients.

As part of a regional trauma system, and through partnerships with Emergency Medical Services agencies like CALSTAR and REACH Air Medical Services, Barton has the ability via both ground and air ambulance to transport acute patients rapidly to access broadened trauma services at Renown Regional Medical Center’s Level II Trauma Center in Reno and University of California, Davis Medical Center’s Level I Trauma Center.

Powering the Trauma Center and lifesaving medical equipment at the hospital is critical, as prolonged power outages are possible in the Sierra Nevada. Barton invested in a state-of-the-art central utility plant, which provides energy independence in the event of a disaster-caused outage or public safety power shut off.

Stronger through regional partnerships
In the event of a disaster, if patient transfer is necessary, Barton has the ability to request expanded capacity at any facility, including neighboring hospitals: UC Davis Medical Center, Marshall Medical Center, Renown Regional Medical Center and Carson Valley Medical Center.

Additionally, partnerships with local police, fire and first responders strengthen crisis response; coordinated training efforts include simulations of mass casualty incidents to wildfire evacuations.

Through a program called “Stop the Bleed,” medical experts from Barton’s Trauma Center provide tourniquet training to educators and school staff. The Stop the Bleed program is recommended by the Department of Homeland Security to stop extremity bleeding and save lives in the event of a school shooting or other traumatic incident.

Accessible care, even in a crisis
With expert care, updated facilities and collaboration with regional partners, Barton remains prepared to care for patients should a disaster strike. In the face of traumatic incidents, natural disasters or infectious diseases, emergency response preparedness is an essential component of Barton Health providing high quality care in the Lake Tahoe region.

For those experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or proceed to Barton’s 24/7 Emergency Department (2170 South Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA).
Dr. Kandra Yee is Barton Health’s Chief of Staff and Medical Director for the Barton Emergency Department. Learn more about Barton Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department and Level III Trauma Center at bartonhealth.org/emergencydepartment.