Doctor and patient


Sabine County Hospital is licensed for 25 inpatient acute care beds, all of which may be used as “swing beds” or skilled nursing beds to meet the needs of Medicare patients who need extra time to heal and strengthen following an acute care stay.  As a Level IV Trauma Center, the Emergency Department at Sabine County Hospital serves as the first responder for injured and ill patients living, working or visiting in the area.  Other hospital services supporting the Hospital, Emergency Department and Clinic include:  MRI, CT scanning, general x-ray and ultrasound; physical therapy and cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation; and laboratory testing. 

Hospital Services

The Emergency Department at Sabine County Hospital is designated by the State of Texas as a Level IV Trauma Center.  Open 24-hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year, the department is staffed by highly-qualified medical providers and nursing staff trained to deliver medical care at all levels from minor injuries and illnesses to major accidents and life threatening conditions.  

These professionals are certified in Advance Trauma Life Support (ATLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). Nursing staff members also receive advance trauma training.

Through the hospital’s affiliation with Avera eCare, the services of local providers are complemented by those of board certified emergency room physicians and critical care nurses immediately available through telemedicine.  At the touch of a button, equipment installed in the hospital’s two trauma rooms is instantly connected by to eCare’s virtual hospital command center through a dedicated fiber optic line.  

The purpose of any Emergency Department is to save lives.  An emergency is any medical problem that could cause death or permanent injury if not treated quickly.  Severe pain in some instances can also be a medical emergency, such as the pain associated with kidney stones or appendicitis.

Some examples of medical emergencies are:

  • Chest pain accompanied by sweating, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, radiating pain that moves to the arm or neck, dizziness, or feeling that your heart is beating irregularly or too fast
  • Choking
  • Severe bleeding that doesn’t stop after 15 minutes of direct pressure
  • Fainting
  • Broken or displaced bones
  • Swallowing poison
  • Burns
  • Suddenly not being able to walk, speak, or move a portion of your body
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing

What TO DO When You Have a Medical Emergency

  • Go to the Emergency Department
  • Call 911 if necessary
  • Call an Ambulance (911) if you are having chest pain accompanied by sweating, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting. Don’t risk driving yourself or having a friend transport you in a private vehicle.

What TO DO When You Have a Non-Emergency

The primary mission of Sabine County Hospital is to provide our patients the appropriate level of medical care in the fastest, most efficient manner possible.  True medical emergencies should be treated in the Emergency Department.  Often, patients come to the Emergency Department for care that could be provided by a primary care provider, more efficiently, and at a lower cost.

Some examples of non-emergencies are:

  • Cold or flu symptoms
  • Sore throat
  • Earache
  • A fever that is relieved with over-the-counter medication
  • Toothache
  • Minor cuts, scrapes and abrasions
  • Muscle sprains
  • Sunburn

Since the primary focus of any Emergency Department is to treat the critically ill and injured first, patients seeking treatment of minor illnesses and injuries may have to wait longer to see a physician. Additionally, your health insurance plan may not cover treatment of non-emergencies in the Emergency Department.

There are other options for care that may be more convenient and appropriate.  When a minor illness or injury strikes, you should first seek treatment by your primary care provider in his or her office.

Sabine County Hospital is licensed for 25 inpatient acute care beds.  As a result, the hospital can care for inpatients with acute conditions such as heart attack, congestive heart failure, pneumonia and influenza, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, etc.  

As part of the Swing Bed Program established by Medicare, all of the acute care beds may be used as skilled nursing beds for qualified patients.  

At Sabine County Hospital, our nursing staff comprises the heart of our patient care programs. Our compassionate staff is highly-trained and certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC). Comprised of Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) and Registered Nurses (RN), our nursing staff provides a wide range of patient care and education services, as well as emotional support for our patients and family members.  

abine County Hospital offers onsite a wide range of highly complex laboratory services including phlebotomy, hematology, chemistry, special chemistry, serology, immuno-hematoloy.  Some of the more common tests help providers determine whether or not patients have diabetes, high cholesterol, or infections. But other tests can be critical to determining the cause of abdominal or chest pain.

The professionals who staff the laboratory sometimes go unnoticed, but the role they play is vital to the diagnosis and treatment of disease at the hospital, emergency department and clinics. While education requirements differ, MLTs (medical laboratory technicians) and MTs (medical technologists) perform overlapping functions, including preparation of specimens, operation of automated laboratory analyzers and performance of manual testing. Phlebotomists draw blood samples from patients and may also prepare specimens for medical testing.

The laboratory is certified through the Texas Department of State Health Services’ Health Facility Compliance Group.  We maintain compliance under the authority of the Public Health Services Act commonly known as Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA 88). These services include phlebotomy, hematology, chemistry, special chemistry, serology, immuno-hematoloy and reference laboratory availability. 

Diagnostic X-rays

Diagnostic x-rays are routine diagnostic exams that are done by using electromagnetic radiation directed at a certain body structure to record an image onto a digital film plate. Digital radiography is a filmless x-ray image capture. Instead of using film, the x-ray image is recorded on a plate and made available as a digital file that can be saved as part of the patient’s medical record.

On an x-ray, the parts of your body appear light or dark due to the different rates that your tissues absorb the x-rays. Calcium in bones absorbs x-rays the most, so bones look white on the image. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less, and look gray. Air absorbs least, so lungs look black.

X-ray examination is painless, fast and easy. The amount of radiation exposure you receive during an x-ray examination is small.

CT Scan (Cat Scan or Computed Tomography)

A CT scan is a painless, sophisticated x-ray system that uses a computer and a rotating x-ray device to create detailed, cross-sectional images or slices of organs and other body structures. These images are then sent from the computer to the radiologist to make a diagnosis from these images.

CT imaging is considered a safe examination. While CT does involve x-rays, the diagnostic benefits are usually considered to outweigh the risks of x-ray exposure.

CT is often the preferred method for diagnosing head and spine injuries, lung and liver disease, cancer, tumors, blood clots, internal bleeding and other diseases and illnesses. The images allow the radiologist to confirm the presence of a tumor and measure its size, precise location and the extent of the tumor’s involvement with other nearby tissue.

Sabine County Hospital’s 16 slice CT machine decreased the average CT exam time and reduces the radiation exposure to the patient due to its enhanced collimation. This means that each patient undergoing a CT scan will experience a shorter exam which may lead to an even more rapid diagnosis. Due to its speed and sensitivity, CT is designed to secure detailed images of patients who may not be able to be imaged in MRI machines (due to metal or pacemakers).
Some CT exams require a contrast agent to enhance the pictures taken by the CT scanner. You will receive special instructions if your exam requires an oral or intravenous contrast agent in advance.

Ultrasound (Sonogram)

Ultrasound, also called diagnostic medical sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to produce precise images of body structures. These images provide information used to diagnose and guide treatment. Ultrasound is used in many areas of medicine. It’s commonly used to look for subtle differences between healthy and unhealthy areas in the organs of the neck, abdomen and pelvis. It is also used to locate and determine the extent of disease in blood vessels, as well as for imaging small parts such as the thyroid gland, carotid arteries and testicles.

Some ultrasound exams require special instructions that will be discussed with you by your physician.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)  

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a sophisticated and highly accurate imaging technique used to diagnose diseases of the brain, spine, skeleton, chest, abdomen, pelvis and blood vessels. With a large magnet, radio waves and a computer, MRI produces detailed cross-sectional pictures of your internal organs and structures without using ionizing radiation.

During your MRI exam, you will lie on a table and a coil will be placed on or under your body. This coil helps direct the magnetic energy to a specific body part. The table will move you into a tunnel-like opening. The amount of your body that is actually in the tunnel will depend upon the body part being examined. Very simply, the tunnel-like opening is surrounded by a magnet that helps to create images of your body. Your doctor will use those images to make an accurate diagnosis and plan your treatment as necessary.

Additional information about what you can expect follows. If you have any additional questions about your MRI exam, please contact your physician or a member of our staff.



What Can I Expect?

An MRI exam generally takes between 30 minutes to an hour. The length of your exam will depend on the type of study your doctor has ordered. Due to different coils and the detail required, only one body part is scanned at a time. If your doctor orders more than one scan, an additional 30 minutes is usually needed for each area.

The technologist will help you lie on your back on a cushioned scanning table. You will be given pillows or cushions for comfort. You may also be provided with ear plugs or head phones with music to help block out the noises.

Once you are completely comfortable, the technologist will position a device, called a “coil,” over or under you. The coil helps produce the clearest picture of the area it covers.

When you are properly positioned, the table will slide into the opening of the machine and the exam will begin. It’s important that you remain as still as possible throughout the exam. You won’t feel a thing, but you will hear a thumping or knocking sound for several minutes at a time. This is completely normal.

If you become uncomfortable or have questions at any time, you’ll be able to communicate with the technologist through a built-in intercom. When the exam is complete, the technologist will help you off the table and you’ll collect your personal belongings.

Will I Need An Injection?

In some cases, your doctor may order a contrast agent to enhance the images. If a contrast agent is used, it will be injected into a vein in your arm. While the contrast agents used in MRI are very safe, it is important that you tell your doctor and the technologist performing the scan if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, kidney or liver disease, kidney failure, are on dialysis, or if have you had a kidney transplant. It is also important that you tell the technologist performing the exam if you are currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments (within last 2 weeks).

How Do I Prepare?

Metallic objects limit the accuracy of MRI, and the magnetic field can interfere with some surgically implanted devices. If any of the following apply to you, tell your doctor:

  • Pregnancy
  • Cardiac pacemaker or stimulator
  • Metallic implant
  • Implanted insulin pump or other infusion pump
  • If you are a metal worker
  • Inner ear implant
  • Previous gunshot wound
  • Joint or bone pins or replacements
  • Permanent tattoos or eyeliner
  • Aneurism clips or brain surgery

Other than limiting the amount of fluids you drink on the day of the exam, you do not need to make any special preparations.

  • Wear comfortable clothing without metal, if possible, especially near the area being scanned.
  • Eat and take any prescription medications as usual, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Bring a current list of all of your medications to your appointment.
  • Bring prior X-rays or scans if you are instructed.
  • Leave items such as watches, credit cards, pocketknives, jewelry, hearing aids or any other metallic items at home or give them to the technologist for safekeeping.
  • Avoid wearing eye makeup if your head is being scanned. (Many eye shadows contain metallic flakes.)
  • If you’d like, ask a friend or relative to accompany you.
  • Plan to arrive 20 minutes before your exam to provide medical and insurance information.
  • If you are afraid of closed-in spaces, tell your doctor in advance. Your doctor can prescribe a sedative to help you relax. In that case, you will need someone to drive you home after the exam.
  • If you feel you will be unable to remain still for 30 to 60 minutes due to pain, please inform your physician.

How Do I Get The Results?

After your MRI scan, your images are sent to a physician who specializes in the review of these images. This physician will prepare a report that is shared with your doctor (the doctor who ordered your MRI exam). Your doctor will consider this information and is responsible for contacting you with the results. He or she can answer any questions you may have about your results at that time.

Post-Procedure Care

Following your MRI, you can resume your normal activities. (Please contact your doctor if you have any questions about your intended activities, or if you have any questions about restricted activities.)

If you were given an injection of contrast media as part of your MRI scan today, you should:

– Drink an extra 24 ounces of water (three extra glasses).
– Contact your physician immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Any other sudden change that concerns you

Your injection of contrast media required a puncture through your skin. Even though proper steps were taken to prevent infection as a result of this skin puncture, an infection in this area is possible. Please seek medical care if:

  • The injection site becomes red, painful to the touch, or hot to the touch.
  • A lump that was not present when you finished your scan develops at the injection site, or a small lump that was present becomes larger over time.
  • If you were given (or took) a sedative for this exam, please do not drive or operate machinery until its effects have worn off (please contact your doctor with any questions).

The Sabine County Hospital Physical Therapy Department provides inpatient and outpatient physical therapy and rehabilitation services to patients with:

  •  orthopedic conditions such as sprains, strains, knee and hip replacements; 
  • neurological conditions causing lower back pain, leg pain, neck pain and shoulder pain; 
  • therapy geared toward the stroke patient; and
  • therapy for ambulation, gait dysfunction and amputations. 

Physical therapy services are provided by certified physical therapists five days a week, Monday through Friday.

The role of the Pharmacy is to promote safe and effective medication therapy of hospitalized patients. The pharmacy ensures that medical, nursing and pharmacy staffs are provided with patient specific drug information in order to improve drug therapy outcomes. The pharmacy is equipped with software to alert staff of clinical interventions by providing drug information and clinical decision support to reduce the risk for adverse drug events.

The Medical Records or Health Information Management Department of the Sabine County Hospital is responsible for the maintenance and retention of all hard copy and electronic medical records.  The department also maintains the records regarding advanced directives that patients have placed on file with the facility. 

The department assists medical practitioners and other facilities on an immediate basis should the need arise for a copy of medical records which are vital to continued patient care.  In addition, medical records may be requested by patients for legal or personal purposes, as well as the department processing requests from legal entities via subpoenas.

The Medical Records Department checks all records for completion and is responsible for completing several monthly statistical reports. The department is responsible for insuring that diagnosis and procedure coding is completed as well as transcription of all dictated medical records. 

The credentialing of medical practitioners is also processed through this department. The final responsibility of this department lies in the precise filing of all medical records in order to assure ready access when the records are needed. The department is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Medical records requests can be faxed to: (409) 787-4987.

Continue Your Recovery,
Close to Home

The Swing Bed Program at Sabine County Hospital is for Medicare patients discharged from Sabine County or any other hospital following an acute illness, injury or surgery, who still need time and physical therapy to heal and strengthen before going home.

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