Understanding Level 1 Trauma Centers

Dr. Zachary Lutsky served as an attending physician in the emergency department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, for 11 years. Over his tenure at the Level 1 trauma center, Dr. Zachary Lutsky treated patients with a variety of serious injuries.

Though the meaning of the designation “Level 1” can vary from state to state, certain characteristics are common nationwide. Level 1 means that the facility offers trauma patients the highest level of surgical care. A Level 1 trauma center can usually care for patients with any type of injury and can provide the full range of support services, including those related to rehabilitation and trauma prevention.

Sometimes, different parts of a facility will have different designations. A facility may, for instance, be a Level 1 trauma center for pediatrics and a Level 2 center for adults.

Patients can expect a Level 1 trauma facility to deliver care on a 24-hour basis. Moreover, that care may be general or specialized. For example, procedures may be aided by specialists like plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, radiologists, and other professionals.

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