Memorial Hermann Pearland Hospital is in the beginning stages of applying for Level 4 trauma designation, which will qualify the hospital to treat and transfer trauma patients more effectively.

“The new trauma designation raises the level of complex trauma cases we can treat and improves the overall care we provide to the community,” said Kyle Price, CEO of Memorial Hermann Pearland Hospital and Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital.

Level 4 accreditation means Memorial Hermann Pearland Hospital would be certified to provide care to trauma patients, such as patients who have been shot or in severe car accidents. This designation could mean the difference between life and death for patients, said Dr. Sandeep Duggal, emergency room medical director and trauma medical director for Memorial Hermann Pearland.

“Trauma is a leading cause of death for young people,” Duggal said. “A trauma center means that the center is committed to providing the highest level of care to all patients.”

The full process for designation will likely take 12-18 months, according to Duggal. The process will require meeting goals that qualify the hospital for the designation as well as solving logistical problems like discovering the fastest way to get trauma patients to hospitals with higher levels of care if need be, Duggal said.

While working toward the designation, Memorial Hermann Pearland will offer educational opportunities for the community to learn more about trauma and the designation process.

“Pearland is a very young community; it’s a growing community,” Duggal said. “As Memorial Hermann Pearland grows, we want to provide the highest level of service for … the community.”

As it stands, Memorial Hermann Southeast, located at 11800 Astoria Blvd., Houston, is the hospital nearest to Pearland with a trauma designation. Memorial Hermann Southeast possesses a Level 3 designation, meaning it is able to provide prompt care and stabilization to trauma patients.

“Where you live matters,” Duggal said. “The closer you are to a trauma center can make the difference. There are many emergency departments, but not every emergency department is a trauma center.”