Emergency Care for Trauma Accidents

Trauma Care

Trauma emergencies are very severe injuries that have a high risk of death. They include serious injuries from automobile collisions, severe burns, brain injuries, gunshot wounds, and serious injuries resulting from falls. These situations require a specialized type of emergency care provided at trauma centers. However, because trauma centers may be far away, patients may be taken to a nearby emergency room to be stabilized and transferred.

What is Trauma Care?

Trauma care is a type of emergency medicine used to treat the most serious injuries. Trauma care is administered at hospitals that are equipped with trauma centers.

Paramedics usually are the first to aid trauma victims. These medical professionals are trained to determine if your injuries can be treated in an emergency room or if you need a specialized trauma center. They may take you to the closest emergency room to have your condition stabilized and then you may be transferred to a trauma center.

There are four levels of recognized trauma care in Pennsylvania:

  • Level I trauma centers offer the most comprehensive trauma care, along with teaching and research. They have the ability to treat every type of trauma. They treat hundreds of trauma patients per year.
  • Level II trauma centers are similar to Level I centers but do not conduct research or teaching.
  • Level III trauma centers have the capability to care for most trauma patients.
  • Level IV trauma centers are equipped to provide life support before transferring patients to a higher-level center.

Trauma Care at Penn Highlands

Penn Highlands emergency rooms in Brookville, Clearfield, DuBois and St. Marys can help stabilize traumatic injuries and provide life support while arranging to transport patients to the nearest available trauma center. By 2021, Penn Highlands DuBois will open a new Level 3 trauma center. Read more about our Level III trauma plan.


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