What are the different trauma center levels?

Trauma centers are designated according to the level of services they provide. Level I [EM1] and level II trauma centers are very similar in the care they can provide, but level I centers frequently have additional resources for trauma research and medical student training.

Trauma center levels vary from state to state and refer to the types of resources available in the trauma center and the number of patients admitted yearly. Level I trauma centers must also continually expand the body of knowledge in the field of trauma through clinical and basic research programs.

Trauma centers have different levels that tell you the type of services offered and how many patients the center sees each year. There are 5 levels. Level 1 offers the highest level of services. Level 5 offers the least. A level 1 trauma center has 24-hour coverage in the following specialties:

  • anesthesiology
  • critical care
  • emergency medicine
  • internal medicine
  • neurosurgery
  • oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • orthopedic surgery
  • pediatrics
  • plastic surgery
  • radiology

There are three levels of trauma center designation; Level I, II and III. Some states also utilize a fourth level, Level IV.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.