Trauma Levels and What They Mean.


In a future article I will discuss hospital surveys and how important they are to any protective advance and the detail itself. But first let's start by discussing the trauma levels of hospitals. Some protection details are in large cities where there is no shortage of level 1 trauma centers. The hospitals where you can find any specialty at your finger tips. What about those mountain resorts where you have smaller hospitals? Do they transfer and where? Now some resort towns are very keen to protection details as celebrities or politicians may travel there all the time whether it's for skiing or horse back riding. The hospitals listed in this article are hospitals I have personally been to while conducting my protective advances. So let's delve into the trauma levels.


Level V: Level V hospitals are only used by some states here in the United States to further categorize hospitals that provide life support prior to transferring to a higher level medical center that can treat more serious ailments such as burn victims, serious gunshot wounds, or where there may be a medical specialty needed. Level V hospitals have not been formally recognized by the American College of Surgeons. Elements of Level V Trauma Centers Include: Basic emergency department facilities to implement ATLS protocols. Available trauma nurse(s) and physicians available upon patient arrival. After-hours activation protocols if facility is not open 24-hours a day. May provide surgery and critical-care services if available. Has developed transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care at a Level I through III Trauma Centers.


Level IV: St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center is a good example of a Level IV Trauma Center. Nestled below the mountain resort area of Sun Valley, Idaho. They are very attune to Celebrities and protection details; including the U.S. Secret Service. They provide Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) before transferring to a higher level hospital. Elements include: Basic emergency department facilities to implement ATLS protocols and 24-hour laboratory coverage. Available trauma nurse(s) and physicians available upon patient arrival. May provide surgery and critical-care services if available.

Has developed transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care at a Level I or Level II Trauma Center. Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program.

Involved with prevention efforts and must have an active outreach program for its referring communities.


Level III: The Barton Memorial Hospital in the mountains of South Lake Tahoe is an example of a level III trauma hospital. A Level III Trauma Center has demonstrated an ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization of injured patients and emergency operations. Elements of Level III Trauma Centers Include: 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians and the prompt availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists. Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program. Has developed transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care at a Level I or Level II Trauma Center. Provides back-up care for rural and community hospitals. Offers continued education of the nursing and allied health personnel or the trauma team. Involved with prevention efforts and must have an active outreach program for its referring communities.


Level II: St. Mark's Hospital is an example of a level II they can provide definitive care for all injured patients and a protection detail can get most everything they need at these hospitals with exceptions of perhaps extreme circumstances. Elements of Level II Trauma Centers Include: 24-hour immediate coverage by general surgeons, as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care. Tertiary care needs such as cardiac surgery, hemodialysis and microvascular surgery may be referred to a Level I Trauma Center. Provides trauma prevention and continuing education programs for staff. Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program.


Level I: The University Hospital at the University of Utah is an extreme level I as they can do everything. It is not necessary that Level I's treat everything for example some might not treat severe burn patients. They are a total care hospital and can treat from trauma through rehabilitation and although they are a comprehensive resource they are also a tertiary resource, meaning they are an educational trauma center. Elements of Level I Trauma Centers Include:

24-hour in-house coverage by general surgeons, and prompt availability of care in specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial, pediatric and critical care. Referral resource for communities in nearby regions. Provides leadership in prevention, public education to surrounding communities. Provides continuing education of the trauma team members. Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program. Operates an organized teaching and research effort to help direct new innovations in trauma care. Program for substance abuse screening and patient intervention. Meets minimum requirement for annual volume of severely injured patients.


I hope this gives you protectors an understanding of the hospitals and their level of care as you do your advances and consider the care that hopefully is not needed for your principal.

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