About trauma care

A trauma center is not an enhanced Emergency Room – it’s much more. It’s a commitment to providing experienced trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons, and specialists to care for critically injured patients.

Trauma centers are designated by the county government in which they operate. Experts believe that one Level II trauma center is needed for about every 500,000 residents.

Traumatic injuries are characterized by a serious injury or shock to the body. It is generally an event or situation that causes great distress and disruption, and can occur in a variety of ways, including as a result of a motor vehicle accident, gunshot or stab wound, or a fall.

Whatever the cause, the need for immediate, comprehensive trauma care within one hour of injury—the “Golden Hour”— can significantly increase the chances of survival. This is why trauma cases—generally identified as true “traumas” at the site of the accident—arrive by ambulance or helicopter.

While a trauma center is a hospital that is committed to the advanced care of patients with severe injuries, it is also committed to injury prevention and continuing education of the trauma team members.

Levels of trauma care:

  • Level III – Provides substantially increased care over a typical emergency department including emergency resuscitation, surgery and intensive care for most traumas.
  • Level II – Key component is a neurosurgery program. Provides comprehensive adult trauma care. All essential specialties, staff and equipment are available 24 hours a day.
  • Level I – Provides the highest level of care including specialized services such as burn care and pediatric trauma care. Level I centers are typically university/teaching hospitals.

ACS verification

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is an important partner for every trauma center. The ACS’ Consultation/Verification Program develops guidelines to help ensure excellent care and visits trauma programs to evaluate the quality of the trauma program. Verification by the ACS means the trauma program is following the stringent guidelines developed by ACS to treat patients.

Our Level II Trauma Center was recently re-verified through March 16, 2016. The ACS verification came after an extensive onsite review comprised of a team of clinicians experienced in trauma care.