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About Level I Trauma Care

In the United States, trauma centers are ranked according to standards established by the American College of Surgeons, from Level I (comprehensive service) to Level III (limited care). The different levels refer to the kinds of resources available in a trauma center and the number of patients admitted annually.

The Trauma Designation Requirements for Level 1 are:

  • Open 24/7
  • Full range of specialists, surgeons and equipment
  • Required Annual Volume
  • Education Program
  • Research Program

A Level I trauma center provides the highest level of surgical care to trauma patients. Being treated at a Level 1 trauma center increases a seriously injured patient's chances of survival by an estimated 20 to 25 percent. It has a full range of specialists and equipment available 24 hours a day and admits a minimum required annual volume of severely injured patients.

At a Level I trauma center, a team of physicians, surgeons, nurses, X-ray technicians and other health professionals is available 24 hours a day. There is always a trauma surgeon, a neurosurgeon, a respiratory therapist and other designated staff physically present on the UTMB campus. A typical UTMB trauma team consists of a physician faculty member, three residents and emergency room nurses. One trauma team is always on call at any given time.

Additionally, the Level I trauma center has an education program, preventive and outreach programs, a program of research, is a leader in trauma education and injury prevention, and is a referral resource for communities in nearby regions.

The Level 1 designation is granted by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS). The American College of Surgeons, on behalf TDSHS, makes the actual quality review. The Level I designation is valid for three years.

Level I Trauma Certified (ACS)

Level I Burn Center ABA