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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.

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

  • Medical Center of Central Ga. Inc.,* Macon
  • Memorial Health Univ. Medical Center,* Savannah
  • Medical College of Georgia,* Augusta
  • Grady Memorial Hospital,* Atlanta

LEVEL II FACILITY

  • Floyd Medical Center, Rome
  • North Fulton Regional Hospital, Roswell
  • Medial Center-Columbus, Columbus
  • Atlanta Medical Center, Atlanta
  • Hamilton Medical Center, Dalton
  • Gwinnett Medical Center, Lawrenceville
  • John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital, Thomasville

LEVEL IV FACILITY

  • Morgan Memorial Hospital, Madison
  • Walton Regional Medical Center, Monroe

Pediatric trauma centers (designated under level II criteria)

  • Children's Healthcare of Atlanta-Egleston, Atlanta
  • 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. A Level II facility can care for the majority of trauma patients but may have to transfer some patients with more complex injuries to a Level I center. 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 4,500 deaths annually. This is higher than the national average.

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 Renee Morgan, trauma systems manager, Georgia Office of EMS/Trauma: 1-888-870-8672.

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