A Level I trauma centre provides the highest level of surgical care for trauma patients. Being treated at a level 1 trauma centre increases the chances of survival of a severely injured patient by an estimated 20 to 25 percent. A trauma centre (or trauma centre) is a hospital equipped and staffed to care for patients suffering from severe traumatic injuries, such as falls, motor vehicle collisions or gunshot wounds. According to the founder of the Trauma Unit at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Marvin Tile, the nature of injuries at Sunnybrook has changed over the years.
The main liaison physicians with the trauma programme (trauma surgeon, emergency physician, neurosurgeon, orthopaedic surgeon and critical care physician) are required to complete at least 16 hours of trauma-related continuing education per year. A Level V trauma centre provides initial assessment, stabilisation, diagnostic capability and transfer to a higher level of care. Often, Level II centres have critical care services capable of caring for almost all types of injuries indefinitely. Level III centres must have transfer arrangements in place so that trauma patients requiring services not available in the hospital can be transferred to a Level II or III trauma centre.
There are several minor differences between a Level I and II trauma centre, but the main difference is that the Level II trauma centre does not have the research and publication requirements of a Level I trauma centre. Like Level 4 trauma centres, Level 5 trauma centres can provide ATLS and assess, stabilise and diagnose injured persons. Level I, II, III, IV or V) refers to the types of resources available at a trauma centre and the number of patients admitted annually. The level of a trauma centre is determined by the hospital's verification status by the American College of Surgeons.
Adult trauma specialists are often not specialised in the surgical care of trauma in children and vice versa, and the difference in practice is significant. The world's first trauma centre, the first hospital set up specifically to treat injured rather than sick patients, was the Birmingham Accident Hospital, which opened in Birmingham, England in 1941 after a series of studies revealed that the treatment of injured people in England was inadequate. The highest level of trauma centres have access to specialist medical and nursing care, including emergency medicine, trauma surgery, critical care, neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, anaesthesiology and radiology, as well as a wide range of highly specialised and sophisticated surgical and diagnostic equipment. Level 1 trauma centres provide the highest level of trauma care to critically ill or injured patients.