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.