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Louisville Kentucky Trauma Centers

There are some well-respected hospitals in Louisville, and many of them have fully-staffed, 24-hour emergency rooms. Only one, however, has trauma center designation, and that’s The Trauma Center at U of L Hospital.

Here you will find out what it takes to be a designated trauma center.

Please note: If you have visited a trauma center or an emergency room for treatment of injuries sustained in a car accident or other injury due to someone else’s negligence, talk to an attorney at Kaufman and Stigger, PLLC today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

What is a Trauma Center?

A trauma center provides emergency care for patients suffering from major traumatic injuries such as sudden, severe injuries from a car accident, fall, or other injury. A trauma center is equipped and staffed to treat patients suffering from major traumatic injuries 24 hours a day. Official designation as a “trauma center” is determined by state law.

Each state determines how many levels will be used in their state. Almost all have levels I through III with others adopting a fourth level. Typically, the highest level of care is level one. In Kentucky, there are four levels of trauma centers.

Kentucky Trauma Center Laws

Kentucky uses four levels of trauma centers in its emergency care system. Like almost all states, Kentucky law uses the designation and verification process from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which is a private accreditation institution. Kentucky law states that the definition and duties for each level of trauma center is determined by the ACS.

Level I Trauma Centers
Level I centers provide multidisciplinary treatment and specialized resources for trauma patients. Like all levels, they are connected with a lead hospital, and they require trauma research, a surgical residency program and an annual volume of 600 major trauma patients per year. Level I trauma centers can be Adult Trauma Centers or Pediatric Trauma Centers.

Typically, level I trauma centers are part of a university hospital which is better situated to have the staffing and the research programs. However, there are many Level I centers that are not part of a university hospital and provide the required level of research, staffing and residency as any Level I Trauma Center.

Components of a Level I Trauma Center:

  • Surgeons on staff 24 hours able to perform all types of critical care surgeries.
  • Referral resource for communities in nearby regions.
  • Requires and provides continuing education of the trauma team members.
  • Operates an organized teaching and research effort to help direct new innovations in trauma care.
  • Has protocols for substance abuse screening and patient intervention.
  • Utilizes a comprehensive quality assessment program.

Level II Trauma Centers
These are similar to Level I trauma centers but do not require the research and residency components. Additionally, they have lower volume requirements of major trauma patients. Level II trauma centers can be Adult Trauma Centers or Pediatric Trauma Centers.

Components of Level II Centers

  • Surgeons on staff 24 hours able to perform all types of critical care surgeries.
  • Provides refers and transfers to Level I centers for care needs such as cardiac surgery, hemodialysis and microvascular surgery may be referred to a Level I Trauma Center.
  • Requires and provides trauma prevention and continuing education programs for staff.
  • Utilizes a comprehensive quality assessment program.

Level III Trauma Centers
These facilities are typically connected to a smaller community hospital and have the staff and expertise to treat patients with moderate injuries. Level III trauma centers will stabilize severe trauma patients and then transport to a Level I or Level II trauma center.

Components of a Level III Trauma Center:

  • Twenty-four hours staffing/prompt availability of general and anesthesiologists.
  • Has agreements with level I or II centers for transfer of patients requiring critical care.
  • Provides back-up care for rural and community hospitals.
  • Has trauma prevention programs in place, and must have an active outreach program for its referring communities.
  • Utilizes a comprehensive quality assessment program.

Level IV Trauma Centers
Level IV Trauma Centers provide initial care and stabilization of traumatic injury patients while arranging transfer to a higher level of trauma care.

  • Basic emergency services/staffing and 24-hour laboratory coverage. Trauma nurses available for prompt arrival upon request.
  • Provide surgery and critical care services if available.
  • Transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care at a Level I or Level II Trauma Center.
  • Utilizes a comprehensive quality assessment program.
  • Involved with prevention efforts and must have an active outreach program for its referring communities.

Louisville Hospital Trauma Centers

University of Louisville
Trauma Center: Level I
The Trauma Center at U of L Hospital is the only Level I trauma center in Louisville and in the region and one of two in the state. They are also the only trauma center (of any level)       in Louisville or Jefferson County. They are also the only Level I burn center in the region. They treat more than 3,000 burn and trauma patients each year, and half of those come from outside the Louisville area.

More information:
Hospital Home PageTrauma Center Home Page
Burn Center Home Page

Other Emergency Rooms in the Louisville area:

Norton Children’s Hospital
Level I Neo-Natal Center
ER: 24-Hour, No Trauma Center
Norton Children’s Hospital is one of seven Norton Hospitals in Louisville, and though it doesn’t have a designated Trauma Center, it does operate seven emergency rooms for local emergencies. It a patient with a serious trauma comes in, they will transfer the patient to UL Hospital.

Norton Emergency Rooms:

  • Norton Audubon Hospital
  • Norton Brownsboro Hospital
  • Norton Children’s Hospital
  • Norton Children’s Medical Center
  • Norton Hospital
  • Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital

Baptist Health Floyd
24-Hour Emergency Room—No Designated Trauma Level
Baptist Heath has a full-service ER with emergency surgery available and a full ER staff 24 hours. They will transfer some trauma patients to UL.

Jewish Hospital Kentucky One Health
24-Hour Emergency Room—No Designated Trauma Level
Jewish Hospital maintains a full ER staff 24 hours a day. The provide emergency surgery and other critical health services. They are an accredited heat attack receiving hospital. The have a transfer agreement with UL Hospital if they receive a trauma patient.

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