Ready to respond when life is on the line

Both University Hospital and American Family Children’s Hospital are Level I Trauma Centers. This means we provide the highest level of care available to adults and children with life-threatening injuries.

At a Level I Trauma Center, you get the fastest, most advanced medical care. We have trauma surgeons and other specialists on-site, day and night. We also have the resources they need to provide the best care. All of this makes a difference.

Trauma surgeon Ann O'Rourke talks about what it means to be a Level I Trauma Center, and what it means for patients.

Conditions and treatment

Expert care for the most severe injuries

Our Level I Trauma Center provides care for all types of serious injuries. A team of specialists is ready 24/7.

Our care

Some of the most common conditions we treat include:

  • Assault-related injuries

  • Burns, including thermal and chemical burns

  • Fall 

  • Farming-related injuries

  • Frostbite 

  • Gunshot wounds 

  • Inhalation injuries 

  • Injuries from bicycle, motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile accidents

  • Injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes 

  • Stab wounds

Your treatment will depend on your needs. We’re prepared to do emergency surgery and bring in all the specialists you might require. This includes doctors such as neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons. Plastic and reconstructive surgeons, ear, nose and throat specialists and other physicians are ready to help as well.

You or your child’s ongoing care may occur in our Trauma and Life Support Center or our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. These units include specialized care from therapists who can help with your physical, occupational, psychological and speech therapy needs. As you recover, Rehabilitation Services will often work with you to help you get stronger and regain any lost functions. UW Health’s Rehabilitation Hospital is also here to help those needing the most intense help for recovery.

Programs and services

Focused on health care, education, prevention and research

Trauma care is our focus. But it takes more than just that to achieve Level I Trauma Center status. Education, prevention and research have crucial roles, too. We work to provide the best patient care. At the same time, we help the public and other medical professionals.

Trauma-related programs and services

We have several health programs and services to help you get the best health care:

Our Burn and Wound Center offers complete burn and wound care. We are the only hospital in Wisconsin to have American College of Surgeons verification as a Burn Center and Level I Trauma Center for adults and children.

The Trauma and Life Support Center, our intensive care unit for severely ill or injured people, treats adolescents and adults.

Our Med Flight team transports critically ill or injured patients of all ages – neonates through adults, by helicopter or ambulance. We have helicopters located at three bases to respond quickly to patient needs and support our EMS and hospital partners in the region.


We offer education to medical professionals and the public.

We support and offer classes to help medical professionals stay up to date on the latest treatments.

The Clinical Simulation Program offers realistic learning scenarios for our staff and our partners in care. It helps them prepare for things they might face when caring for patients.

Our Emergency Education Center offers training for EMS professionals and volunteers throughout the region. These EMS providers partner with us, and are often vital links in helping people receive the best trauma care.

Stop the Bleed is a national program that trains the public to help respond to bleeding emergencies before professional help arrives. UW Health supports Stop the Bleed by providing training supplies and hosting classes in the area.

Host your own Stop the Bleed class

If you are hosting a class and need training supplies, we can lend you our Stop the Bleed training kits that come with a limb, hemostatic gauze, a SOFT-T Wide Tourniquet and a CAT Tourniquet. Request supplies

We support and work with many community agencies to help people learn how to prevent or respond to injuries. These efforts range from hosting falls awareness classes to training youth to respond to emergencies in their school.


Preventing injuries is better than having to treat them. We partner with many government and social service groups to prevent injuries. Our efforts include:

We work to support best practices to reduce injuries, and promote safety-based policies.

We have a robust program focused on preventing childhood injuries. Our Safety Center offers safety equipment and educates parents in injury prevention. Through the Madison Safe Kids Coalition, we work with community organizations to keep our at-risk kids safe. We also advocate for laws that protect kids.

Crisis services resources

Community resources for individuals experiencing violence or abuse.


One of our goals is to learn more about how and why traumatic injuries occur. Our researchers conduct studies to get answers. The results can give us greater insight into preventing these injuries. They also help us better understand how to care for trauma patients.

Meet our team

A team whose goal is to help you heal

Our trauma team includes surgeons who focus on adults and children. They work closely with other providers at UW Health. No matter what your needs, we have the experts to help.

For any questions about the Level I Pediatric Trauma Program, contact Laura Kane, Manager, at (608) 263-8452 or lkane@uwhealth.org.

Adult trauma care


South Central Wisconsin's only Level I Trauma Center for kids and adults

Level I Trauma Center care for adults is available at University Hospital, while pediatric trauma care including rehabilitation services, is provided at American Family Children’s Hospital.

Patient support and services

Information and prevention resources

These resources can help you learn more about trauma-related injuries and trauma prevention.

UW Health online resources

Resources from UW Health include:

More online resources