Trauma Center Levels
At the highest levels, Trauma Centers such as Harborview, have trauma surgeons available 24 hours a day including surgeons from many disciplines including neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons. At the highest level, the Center has highly sophisticated medical diagnostic equipment and have a helipad for receiving patients from remote locations and distant hospitals.
Trauma Center Level designations are established by governmental entities. Some hospitals voluntarily participate in a process of the American College of Surgeons to have their services verified.Level I
Level I trauma centers such as Harborview Medical Center in Seattle provide 24 hour care to injured persons as well as accommodate a high volume of patients. Level I Centers usually meet the following criteria:
- Provides 24-hour-a-day trauma care
- Provides specialists in many areas
- Provides sophisticated diagnostic equipment
- Provides a cadre of surgeons including neurosurgeon, plastic surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, oral and maxillofacial surgeon
- Provides anesthesiologist
- Provides critical care unit for surgery recovery
- Provides radiology services
- Has Emergency Research program
- Leads other hospitals in trauma education and injury prevention
- Provides a resource for referrals
- Has a surgical residency program.
Level II Trauma Centers provide:
- Comprehensive trauma care
- 24 hour-a-day car with essential specialties
- Usually do not have research or surgical residency programs.
Level III hospitals provide the following:
- Emergency resuscitation
- Emergency surgery
- Intensive care
- Usually do not provide a full cadre of specialists and refer patients to other hospitals.