A trauma center is a hospital that is designated by a state or local authority or is verified by the American College of Surgeons
A Level I Trauma Center provides the highest level of surgical care to trauma patients. Being treated at a Level I Trauma Center increases a seriously injured patient’s chances of survival by an estimated 20 to 25 percent versus not going to the hospital. 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. A Level I trauma center is required to have a certain number of surgeons, emergency physicians and anesthesiologists on duty 24 hours a day at the hospital, an education program, and preventive and outreach programs. Key elements include 24-hour in-house coverage by general surgeons and prompt availability of care in varying specialties—such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery (plastic surgeons often take calls for hand injuries), anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine, oral and maxillofacial surgery (trained to treat injuries of the facial skin, muscles, bones), and critical care—which are needed to adequately respond and care for various forms of trauma that a patient may suffer. Additionally, a Level I center has a program of research, is a leader in trauma education and injury prevention, and is a referral resource for communities in nearby regions.
A Level II trauma center works in collaboration with a Level I center. It provides comprehensive trauma care and supplements the clinical expertise of a Level I institution. It provides 24-hour availability of all essential specialties, personnel, and equipment. Minimum volume requirements may depend on local conditions. These institutions are not required to have an ongoing program of research or a surgical residency program.
A Level III trauma center does not have the full availability of specialists, but does have resources for emergency resuscitation, surgery, and intensive care of most trauma patients. A Level III center has transfer agreements with Level I or Level II trauma centers that provide back-up resources for the care of exceptionally severe injuries, Example: Rural or Community hospitals.
A Level IV trauma center exists in some states where the resources do not exist for a Level III trauma center. It provides initial evaluation, stabilization, diagnostic capabilities, and transfer to a higher level of care. It may also provide surgery and critical-care services, as defined in the scope of services for trauma care. A trauma-trained nurse is immediately available, and physicians are available upon the patient's arrival to the Emergency Department. Transfer agreements exist with other trauma centers of higher levels, for use when conditions warrant a transfer.
Provides initial evaluation, stabilization, diagnostic capabilities, and transfer to a higher level of care. May provide surgical and critical-care services, as defined in the service's scope of trauma-care services. A trauma-trained nurse is immediately available, and physicians are available upon patient arrival in the Emergency Department. If not open 24 hours daily, the facility must have an after-hours trauma response protocol.
Pediatric Trauma Centers
A facility can be designated an adult Trauma Center, a pediatric Trauma Center, or an adult & pediatric Trauma Center. If a hospital provides trauma care to both adult and pediatric patients, the Level designation may not be the same for each group. For example, a Level 1 adult Trauma Center may also be a Level 2 pediatric Trauma Center. This is because pediatric trauma surgery is a specialty unto itself. Adult trauma surgeons are not generally specialized in providing surgical trauma care to children, and vice versa, and the difference in practice is significant.
Not that I'm a huge wiki fan this is a good depiction......Trauma center - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia