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What is a trauma center?

A trauma center is a hospital that is equipped and staffed to deliver a coordinated team approach for the optimal care of patients suffering from major traumatic injuries and that can require the involvement of several specialty areas.

A trauma center is a hospital that volunteers to meet voluntary national and state criteria to provide emergency care for severely injured people. Trauma centers are required to have multiple surgical and medical specialists immediately available 24 hours per day, every day of the year. An array of ancillary services must also be immediately available to support the various specialties. In addition, doctors and nurses must receive specialized training to be capable of caring for trauma patients and utilizing a team approach to deliver trauma care.

A trauma center is a designation of a hospital emergency area. There are a number of things the hospital must have to qualify as a trauma center. They include:

  • medical imaging
  • emergency testing
  • qualified staff
  • trauma doctors on-site 24/7
  • operating rooms that are open, ready and staffed

A trauma center is a specialized hospital that treats victims of physical trauma. Physical trauma is defined as a blunt, penetrating or burn injury that requires immediate medical treatment in order for the patient to survive. Most often, these types of injury are the result of falls, auto accidents, gunshots, stabbings and/or burns. A trauma center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a trauma surgery team that is specially qualified. After the patient is stabilized, his/her continuum of care is the responsibility of the trauma center staff until the patient is released from the trauma center.

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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.