What is a Trauma Center?

What is a Trauma Center?
What is a Trauma Center?

When talking about medical facilities, at some point the conversation turns to “Trauma Centers” as the highest level of service when it comes to emergency medical care.

So what exactly is a Trauma Center?

The American Trauma Society has a great definition and explains the difference between a designation and a verification which is voluntary:

Trauma Center levels across the United States are identified in two fashions – A designation process and a verification process. The different levels (ie. Level I, II, III, IV or V) refer to the kinds of resources available in a trauma center and the number of patients admitted yearly. These are categories that define national standards for trauma care in hospitals. Categorization is unique to both Adult and Pediatric facilities.

You can read the complete definition here on their site.

In the State of California, all trauma centers are licensed hospitals, designated by a local Emergency Medical Services Agency (LEMSA) as a Trauma Center, and include personnel, services, and equipment necessary for the care of trauma patients. General requirements for all trauma centers include:

      • A trauma program medical director and a trauma nurse coordinator
      • A basic emergency department (minimum)
      • A multidisciplinary trauma team
      • Specified service capabilities
      • Performance Improvement and Patient Safety Program
      • Trauma Registry (data collection)

California has four levels of Trauma Centers: Levels I to IV. You can find out more about the state definitions here on the State Emergency Medical Services Authority site.

Orange County Trauma Centers

According to the State, Orange County has four designated trauma centers:

OCHEART is here to provide emergency communications for these facilities along with the 30+ other medical facilities in Orange County. If you are interested in assisting us in our mission, please contact us here and let us know.