While emergency rooms can take care of most health emergencies and injuries, an ER (or ED, for emergency department) with an integrated trauma center increases the level of care and chances of recovery.
A trauma center is a hospital that has additional resources and equipment to help care for severely injured patients. Nearly 45 million Americans do not have access to a Level I or Level II trauma center according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Access to trauma centers is important because injuries are the leading cause of death for children and adults, ages 1 to 44. Getting care for a severe injury at a Level I trauma center can lower the risk of death by 25 percent.
Trauma Center Levels
While trauma categories vary from state to state, here are some common basic criteria. For details, see the American Trauma Society site.
- Level I: A comprehensive regional resource that is a tertiary care facility central to the trauma system. A center that achieves Level I is capable of providing total care for every aspect of injury.
- Level II: Able to initiate definitive care for all injured patients.
- Level III: Demonstrated ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care, and stabilization of injured patients.
- Level IV: Demonstrated ability to provide advanced trauma life support (ATLS) prior to transfer to a higher level trauma center.
- Level V: Provides initial evaluation, stabilization, and diagnostic capabilities, and prepares patients for transfor to higher levels of care.
This is a guest post from Simulaids, which distributes Rescue Randy and the Z-Medica Trauma Trainer through Pocket Nurse. These educational simulators teach extrication, rapid wound treatment, and other types of trauma assessment and treatment.