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Trauma: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is trauma?
  2. What is a trauma center?
  3. Where are the trauma centers in Georgia?
  4. What do the different levels of trauma centers mean?
  5. Why does Georgia need a trauma system?

Question 1: What is trauma?
Answer: Trauma is an injury either minor, such as a sprained ankle, or major, such as a gunshot wound. Our top 3 mechanisms of injury is falls, motor vehicle crashes and motor cycle crashes. Traumatic injuries are the #1 cause of death for ages 1 to 44 and the third leading cause of death for all age groups. 

Question 2: What is a trauma center?
Answer: A trauma center is a hospital that has the necessary personnel and equipment to care for critically injured patients 24 hours a day. This includes resources such as trauma surgeons, CAT scan machines and operating rooms that can be immediately available if needed.

Question 3: Where are the trauma centers in Georgia?
Answer: LEVEL I FACILTY

  • Augusta University Medical Center,* Augusta
  • Grady Memorial Hospital,* Atlanta
  • Memorial Health University Medical Center,* Savannah
  • Navicent Health,* Macon
  • WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, Atlanta

LEVEL II FACILITY

  • Floyd Medical Center, Rome
  • Hamilton Medical Center, Dalton
  • John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital, Thomasville
  • Midtown Medial Center, Columbus
  • Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Gainesville
  • Northside Hospital Gwinnett, Lawrenceville
  • Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, Athens
  • WellStar Kennestone Hospital, Marietta
  • WellStar North Fulton Hospital, Roswell

LEVEL III FACILITY

  • Crisp Regional Hospital, Cordele
  • Doctors Hospital of Augusta, Augusta
  • Fairview Park Hospital, Dublin
  • Piedmont Walton Hospital, Monroe
  • Redmond Regional Medical Center, Rome
  • Taylor Regional Hospital, Hawkinsville

LEVEL IV FACILITY

  • Appling Healthcare System, Baxley
  • Effingham Health System, Springfield
  • Emanuel Medical Center, Swainsboro
  • Meadows Regional Medical Center, Vidalia
  • Morgan Memorial Hospital, Madison

LEVEL I Pediatric Trauma Centers

  • Children's Healthcare of Atlanta-Egleston, Atlanta

LEVEL II Pediatric Trauma Centers

  • Children's Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite, Atlanta

*Designated adult level I trauma centers with pediatric commitment.

Question 4: What do the different levels of trauma centers mean?
Answer: A trauma center is designated a specific level (I, II, III or IV) depending on the available resources to care for patients (specialty physicians, hospital staff and equipment) as well as its ability to participate in trauma research, health care professional education and injury prevention. For example, a Level I trauma center is usually a large, urban teaching hospital that can care for all types of injuries as well as provide support to community hospitals, perform trauma research and provide medical education to surgeons in training. A Level II facility has the same resources to care for severely injured patients as a Level I without the training of surgeons. Level III and IV centers stabilize patients and transport them to a higher level of care if necessary.

Question 5: Why does Georgia need a trauma system?
Answer: Injuries in Georgia account for one million emergency department visits, 75,000 hospitalizations and 5,600 deaths annually. The death rate for Georgians is higher than the U.S. rate for most causes of injury.

Although there are areas in Georgia that provide high-quality trauma care, there are still places, especially in the more rural communities, where prompt trauma care is not immediately available. A statewide trauma system will provide readily accessible trauma care to all citizens and optimize a trauma patient's chance of survival and limit the potential of permanent disability.

For more information on state trauma system development, please contact Billy Kunkle, Trauma System Planner, Georgia Trauma Commission, email: billy@gtcnc.org.

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