Why a Level 1 Trauma Center Matters

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By News Team on May 19, 2022

During emergencies, when patients need the most critical care possible, they’re automatically transported here…to the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Research shows that Level I Trauma Centers reduce the risk of death from injury by 25% in comparison to non-trauma centers.

The classification system for trauma centers represents the resources available to care for patients with differing needs—from the most complex multisystem trauma patient (Level 1) to those with mild or moderate injuries (Level 3).

At Carilion Clinic, that top-level designation applies not just to the trauma team at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, but also to the pediatric trauma team at Carilion Children's Hospital.

In both cases, says neurosurgeon Eric Marvin, D.O., “we are prepared on a moment’s notice.”

No single physician or group of physicians can care for all trauma patients, so Level 1 Trauma Centers like those at Carilion have a combination of multiple specialists at the ready 24/7.

The Level 1 Trauma Center is a commitment of the organization,” explained Thomas E. Shuler, M.D., of Carilion Clinic Orthopaedic Trauma and chief of Carilion’s Orthopaedic Trauma and Fracture Service.

“We are also a referral center for all of the other hospitals in the area that have trauma that is at a level above what they are prepared to take care of,” said Jesse B. Seamon, M.D., of Carilion Clinic Orthopaedic Trauma.

By delivering highly specialized care right away, Level I Trauma Centers save lives and optimize a patient’s recovery.

“As a Level 1 Trauma Center, we offer very high-level services, neurosurgery general surgery and our high-level ortho trauma services 24/7,” said Dr. Shuler.

The Institute for Orthopaedics and Neurosciences at Carilion Clinic supports the Level 1 Trauma Center accreditation with high-level specialist care and creates a coordinated opportunity to support patients at all stages of healing and recovery.

“The collaboration between the trauma service and ortho service really provides us with being able to provide optimal care in a timely and very effective manner for our patients,” said Dr. Marvin.

But aside from providing comprehensive trauma care, what also sets Level I Centers apart from lower level centers is the number of patients they care for every day and their commitment to robust research and quality improvement.

For more than 30 years Carilion Clinic has been the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the region. Covering a population base of 1.5 million people, Carilion Clinic is committed to providing the highest level of emergency care.


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