El Paso

University Medical Center's Level 1 Trauma Center

ABC 7 at Four University Medical...

EL PASO, Texas - In the wake of the August 3rd Walmart mass shooting in El Paso, there has been a focus on having hospitals in the city that can handle traumas of this magnitude. 

University Medical Center (UMC) is designated as a Level 1 trauma center. But what exactly does that mean?

Here are some facts:

  • 85 percent of all Level 1 traumas in the El Paso region are transported to UMC for lifesaving care.
  • UMC is the only Level 1 trauma center in a 270-mile radius of El Paso
  • There are 18 Level 1 trauma centers in Texas
  • Why is it special to have a Level One trauma center?
  • 24-hour in-house coverage by general surgeons, and prompt availability of care in specialties such as orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, internal medicine, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial, pediatric and critical care.
  • Immediate availability of all medical resources staffed in house.
  • Referral resource for communities in nearby regions.
  • Provides leadership in prevention, public education to surrounding communities.
  • Provides continuing education of the trauma team members.
  • Incorporates a comprehensive quality assessment program.
  • Operates an organized teaching and research effort to help direct new innovations in trauma care.
  • Program for substance abuse screening and patient intervention.
  • Meets minimum requirement for annual volume of severely injured patients.

Large cities or regions should have at least one Level 1 trauma center that is experienced and has the resources to treat every type of injury, regardless of severity.
A minimum volume of patients is required to ensure that an adequate number of injured patients are cared for to support the required educational programs in training future trauma care providers.  
Research activities are necessary to enhance our knowledge of the care of injured patients.
Surgical commitment from all disciplines and be an advocate for the injured patient.


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