Adult Trauma Care

If you or a loved one is critically injured, no facility can offer a higher level of trauma care than a verified Level I center.


At UW Health, University Hospital has repeatedly earned Level I Trauma Center status for adult patients since 1998, making it one of the elite comprehensive critical care facilities in the United States.


Level I trauma centers cannot rest on their laurels. They undergo a vigorous re-verification process every three years to keep this designation.


What makes a Level I trauma center unique?


Above all, the Level I advantage means that all the expert trauma physicians, nurses, technicians and equipment a seriously injured or ill patient could need are here 24/7. Our trauma team is always here in the hospital - not driving in from home - with other expertly trained specialists available, if necessary, in:

  • Trauma orthopedic surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Anesthesiology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Radiology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Trauma and Life Support Center (TLC)

We also have the experience needed to offer the highest level of critical care. In 2018, our Trauma Center cared for 3,500 trauma patients, or more than nine critically injured or critically ill patients each day. We also continuously strive to improve our processes and treatment methods to achieve the highest quality of care possible.


Adult Injury Prevention Program


A State-of-the-Art Rehab Hospital Here in Madison


Some trauma patients are not ready to go home even if they are ready to be discharged from the hospital. Fortunately, our contemporary 50-bed UW Health Rehabilitation Hospital on Madison's east side helps patients progress along the path to recovery by offering post-acute inpatient rehabilitation care on a beautiful 10-acre campus with a variety of amenities.


Here, a team of expert rehabilitation doctors, nurses and specially trained physical and occupational therapists develop customized rehab plans to help patients achieve their fullest potential on the road to recovery.


Other Level I Advantages


What truly separates a Level I Trauma Center is the demonstrated ability for all patients to receive 24/7 access to a trauma surgeon, operating room and every subspecialty of surgery available. Aside from this, a Level I center demonstrates a commitment to injury prevention through education, awareness and professional development programs.


UW Health's Level I Trauma Center is:

  • A statewide referral resource: When a patient at a local hospital needs a higher level of trauma care than is available on site, University Hospital in Madison is ready day or night to make the transfer of that patient is seamless as possible for all involved.
  • A professional Emergency Education Center: We pride ourselves in helping train life support, EMS and paramedic professionals, so each patient receives the highest level of trauma care possible before arriving at the hospital. Our Emergency Education Center includes information about our professional training classes as well as answers to frequently asked questions. We also ensure that our own trauma team is kept current with recurring emergency education initiatives.
  • A resource for injury prevention programs: Whether it's teaching you how to correctly install a car seat or how to safely use a fireplace in your home, UW Health is actively out and about keeping adults and children safe. Our goal is to be sure you and your family never see the inside of our Emergency Department.
  • A home for groundbreaking research: Researchers based at University Hospital conduct studies to learn why and how traumatic injuries occur. This helps us understand how people with these injuries can be better cared for, and how traumatic injuries can be prevented. Our doctors conduct high-quality research with other specialists, data experts and researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. These findings help our trauma team advance knowledge and bring even more effective treatments directly to patients. Ultimately, this research benefits the health of all residents of Wisconsin and elsewhere.