Level One Trauma Center
A Level One facility is a regional resource trauma center capable of providing patients with the most advanced and comprehensive care available. A verified Level One Trauma Center for adults since 1998 and pediatrics since 2004, UW Hospital and Clinics' combined status as an ACS-verified Burn Center has strengthened its standing among the elite in comprehensive critical care facilities in the country.
National studies have shown that hospitals that have successfully completed the trauma center verification process have better patient outcomes (lower death rates and complications) than those that do not.
"Trauma continues to be a major public health problem in the nation and Wisconsin," says Michael Schurr, MD, director of the UW Hospital trauma service. "Being re-verified as a Level One Trauma Center for people of all ages, and now with an ACS-verified Burn Center, speaks volumes about the hospital's continuing effort towards providing the highest quality of care possible to our community."
The American College of Surgeons (ASC), responsible for establishing national trauma center criteria, requires all verified Level One facilities to pass a rigorous re-verification process every 3 years in order to maintain that status.
Since becoming a Level One facility, the hospital has realized significant improvements in the areas of patient care, trauma education, and community outreach as a result of its effort to maintain the high status. Some of the ACS standards include:
- A team of trauma care specialists available on site 24 hours a day
- A specially trained staff and a wide array of highly specialized diagnostic and treatment equipment through all phases of trauma care, including the emergency room, operating room, and intensive care units
- Comprehensive clinical lab services available 24 hours
- Programs for injury prevention, public and professional education and trauma research
- Designated operating room availability and staffing 24 hours a day
- A rehabilitation service properly equipped for acute care of critically injured patients
UW Health's Trauma Center provided care for 1,579 trauma and 161 burn patients in 2006:
- 37 percent of its trauma admissions were people injured in Dane County
- 72 percent were male, and 48 percent were 30 years old or younger
- Most injuries are related to motor vehicle crashes (51 percent); other significant causes include falls (25 percent), bicycle or pedestrian accidents (7 percent), and penetrating trauma (stabbing and gunshot wounds 7 percent)
When compared to national standards of other Level One Trauma Centers, UW Hospital has twice as many survivors for those patients who are most severely injured, a true testament of the high quality of care provided.