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Level 1 Trauma Centers in Lexington KY

Lexington Kentucky is home to many great hospitals with great emergency rooms. Only one, however, has trauma center designation, and that’s Albert B. Chandler Hospital UK HealthCare. UK HealthCare’s Chandler Emergency Department is the region’s only Level 1 trauma center for adults and is also a Level 1 pediatric trauma center.

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Please note: If you have sustained a traumatic injury due to someone else’s negligence, talk to an attorney at Kaufman and Stigger, PLLC. The call is free and we will only offer you advice in your best interest.

What is a Trauma Center?

A trauma center provides emergency care for patients suffering from major traumatic injuries such as sudden, severe injuries from a car accident, fall, or other injuries. A trauma center is equipped and staffed to treat patients suffering from major traumatic injuries 24 hours a day. Official designation as a “trauma center” is determined by state law. Kentucky law uses the designation and verification process from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which is a private accreditation institution. In Kentucky, we have 4 levels of trauma centers, with level 1 being the highest.

Kentucky Trauma Center Designation

Kentucky uses four levels of trauma centers in its emergency care system. Level I designates the centers able to offer the most advanced care, resources, and staff. They can provide the highest level of surgical care for patients. The tiers below a Level I Trauma Center have fewer and fewer resources available and can handle less and less serious injuries.

Like almost all states, Kentucky law uses the designation and verification process from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which is a private accreditation institution. Kentucky law states that the definition and duties for each level of trauma center are determined by the ACS.

Components of a Trauma Centers:

Level I Trauma Centers
Level I Centers provides care for all facets of injury from prevention, to treatment, to rehabilitation. Level I centers provide multidisciplinary treatment and specialized resources for patients suffering traumatic injuries.

Like all levels, they are connected with a lead hospital, but they also require trauma research, a surgical residency program, and an annual volume of at least 600 major trauma patients per year. Some Level I trauma centers focus on pediatric care.

Level I trauma centers can be part of a university hospital system like the University of Kentucky. These schools are better positioned to provide qualified staff and research programs.


  • Surgeons on staff around the clock able to perform all types of critical care surgeries.
  • Referral resource for communities in nearby regions.
  • Continuing education of the trauma team members.
  • Teaching and research programs to help direct new innovations in trauma care.
  • Has protocols for substance abuse screening and patient intervention.
  • Utilizes a comprehensive quality assessment program.

Level II Trauma Centers
Level II Centers mirror much of the same advantages of a Level I Center but are not required to maintain the research and residency components. Additionally, they aren’t required to meet all of the same benchmarks for trauma patients treated each year. Level II trauma centers can be Adult Trauma Centers or Pediatric Trauma Centers.

Components of Level II Centers

  • Surgeons on staff 24 hours able to perform all types of critical care surgeries.
  • Provides refers and transfers to Level I centers for care needs such as cardiac surgery, hemodialysis, and microvascular surgery may be referred to a Level I Trauma Center.
  • Requires and provides trauma prevention and continuing education programs for staff.
  • Utilizes a comprehensive quality assessment program.

Level III Trauma Centers
These facilities are typically departments connected with smaller community hospitals. They generally have the resources to treat patients with moderate injuries. Level III trauma centers will stabilize severe trauma patients and then transport them to a Level I or Level II trauma center.

Components of a Level III Trauma Center:

  • Twenty-four hours staffing/prompt availability of general and anesthesiologists.
  • Has agreements with level I or II centers for transfer of patients requiring critical care.
  • Provides backup care for rural and community hospitals.
  • Annual trauma prevention programs in place, and must have an active outreach program for its referring communities.
  • Utilizes a comprehensive quality assessment program.

Level IV Trauma Centers
Level IV Trauma Centers provide initial care and stabilization of traumatic injury patients while arranging transfer to a higher level of trauma care.

  • Basic emergency services/staffing and 24-hour laboratory coverage. Trauma nurses are available for prompt arrival upon request.
  • Provide surgery and critical care services if available.
  • Transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care at a Level I or Level II Trauma Center.
  • Utilizes a comprehensive quality assessment program.
  • Involved with prevention efforts and must have an active outreach program for its referring communities.

What is a Traumatic Injury?

Physical trauma refers to sudden wounds resulting from a blow from an outside source that results in a severe injury requiring immediate attention.

Traumatic injuries can be caused by a traffic accident, burns, a fall, and other hazards. They can stem from a physical assault with a fist, knife, gun, or any other weapon.

Traumatic Injuries can include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, skull fractures, collapsed lungs, and crush injuries.

Emotional trauma is a different type of trauma and is caused by psychological distress. Of course, emotional anguish can often be experienced by the victims of physical trauma.

Other Lexington Kentucky Emergency Rooms

Troy Bowling Campus Emergency Room (VA Healthcare System)

Emergency room

1101 Veterans Dr, Lexington

(859) 233-4511

CHI Saint Joseph Health – Saint Joseph Hospital

Emergency room

1 St Joseph Dr, Lexington

(859) 313-1000

Baptist Health Lexington Emergency Care

Emergency room

1740 Nicholasville Rd, Lexington

(859) 260-6180

Bluegrass Community Hospital

Emergency Room

360 Amsden Ave, Versailles, KY 40383

(859) 873-3111

Georgetown Community Hospital

Emergency Room

1140 Lexington Rd, Georgetown, KY 40324

(502) 868-1100

Clark Regional Medical Center

Emergency Room

175 Hospital Dr, Winchester, KY 40391

(859) 737-8444



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