Emergency Services

Level I Trauma Center

FMC receives Level I Trauma Center designation from the state

Following a detailed and extensive survey by the American College of Surgeons, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has granted Flagstaff Medical Center another three-year designation as a Level I Trauma Center.

FMC, which has been a state-designated Trauma Center since November 2005, is the only Level I Trauma Center in Northern Arizona and one of eight in the state. Level I is the highest trauma center designation granted by ADHS.

While most hospitals offer emergency services, only designated trauma centers are able to care for patients with the most life-threatening injuries including serious motor vehicle accidents, gunshot wounds, falls and other traumatic injuries. Through this certification process, both ADHS and the American College of Surgeons have recognized that FMC and local physicians and surgeons are committed to providing this critical level of care to the residents and visitors of Northern Arizona.

“As one the largest hospitals in Northern Arizona, it is important FMC maintains its Level I Trauma Center designation,” said Bill Bradel, FMC President. “Our mission is to provide quality care and meet the growing healthcare needs of the communities we serve. Providing a trauma center is core to fulfilling that mission.” 

FMC’s Trauma Center cares for more than 1,200 adult and pediatric trauma patients each year. Unlike trauma centers in large cities in which a large number of trauma patients are victims of violent crimes, the majority of FMC’s trauma patients come from motor vehicle accidents due to the major interstates in the area and the high volume of tourists in Northern Arizona.

The basic tenet of trauma services is to provide care at the highest level trauma center within “the Golden Hour” following a traumatic injury. When patients are transported to a Level I Trauma Center within the Golden Hour, chances of survival are increased by 25 percent. Without FMC serving as a Level I Trauma Center in Northern Arizona, the majority of trauma patients would not receive care within the Golden Hour, which would directly translate to an increase in deaths.

A Level I Trauma Center must have dedicated resources to care for trauma patients. A dedicated team of trauma surgeons, nurses, technicians and anesthesiologists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Other specialty surgeons key to trauma care, including orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons, also are on-call and available within 20 minutes. Services throughout the hospital, including Respiratory Therapy, Imaging Services, Laboratory and the Intensive Care Units, are critical components of FMC’s Level I designation.