Level One Trauma Center

Related Services

Burn Center

University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics offers a unique level of comprehensive burn and trauma care for all ages, with verfication by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level One Trauma Center for both pediatric and adult patients, as well as an ACS-verified Burn Center.


What does Level 1 Trauma Center mean?


Trauma surgeon Ann O'Rourke explains its signficance:



More About Level 1 Trauma Center


This rare designation was given by the ACS in 2007 after a rigorous examination process, making UW Hospital and Clinics the only hospital in the state to be ACS-verified in all 3 areas. 

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.

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. 

UW Hospital Level 1 Benefits


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.