A trauma center is a specific type of hospital capable of providing specialized medical resources and services to patients with traumatic injuries.
Trauma centers are given a particular designation (level I, II, III, IV, or V) based on the kinds of resources available at the facility and the number of patients they admit in a year.
The criteria for each level can vary by state, but the American Trauma Society has a general guideline for what each trauma level should include. For example, a level I trauma center has 24-hour in-house coverage from general surgeons and prompt care for various specialties. In comparison, a level V trauma center has only basic emergency department facilities.
In general, each increase in level (advancing from level V to I) indicates a greater ability to provide care for a wider range of patients and more severe injuries.