Ohio County EMA Director: Don’t be worried about Wheeling Hospital trauma center downgrade

Ohio County
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October 31 2021 11:59 pm

Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF) – The downgrading of Wheeling Hospital’s trauma center from Level 2 to Level 4 brings up several questions, all of which have left our area on edge.

Will I still get the same care in an emergency?

Will my loved ones have to fly out to another hospital?

But EMA Director Lou Vargo says if you’re worried about changes in care…don’t be.

According to Vargo, the hospital is still functioning at a Level 2 status—the level change was mostly because of some gaps in specialty care.

If there’s a major accident in Ohio County involving major trauma, he says a patient could be flown to a Level 1 center in Morgantown or Pittsburgh.

But Wheeling Hospital will still be the main destination in most other cases.

The public shouldn’t worry about it because again if there’s an accident here in the city or in Ohio County, we’re going to go to the closest hospital, unless they need to fly out, and they have all the capabilities. The designation shouldn’t worry anybody, they’re still going to get good quality trauma care.

Lou Vargo, Director of Wheeling-Ohio County Homeland Security Emergency Management

Wheeling Hospital reports it’s already working to improve its trauma care.

They’re working to recruit the needed specialty doctors, and a new medical director will take over starting in November.

Vargo says he’s confident in those new changes that have been made at Wheeling Hospital.

He predicts that come June of next year when the new survey results arrive, they should have no problem leveling up again.

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