Promoting Excellence in Maryland's Trauma Care

A collaborative statewide approach to address issues related to all aspects of trauma care delivery

What Is A Trauma Center?

Traumatic injuries may cause life-threatening trauma to multiple areas of the body. Some of the most common traumatic injuries are falls, motor vehicle crashes, gunshot wounds, and assaults. Fast and suitable trauma care has shown to reduce the possibility of death or permanent disability.

A trauma center represents a continuum of care that incorporates the rapid, critical care EMS response; the Emergency Department (ED); multi-specialty surgical expertise, including trauma, neurosurgery, orthopedics, intensive care units, and rehabilitation; as well as state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment technologies, all integrated throughout each of these centers. An ED is not always a trauma center. A typical ED may not be able to accept all forms of traumatic injury, or only have the sub-specialists needed for the most critical care.

A trauma center provides medical care and treatment to victims suffering from traumatic injury. Typically, trauma centers are located within hospitals equipped and staffed to provide care for patients suffering from major traumatic injuries, such as falls, motor vehicle collisions, or gunshot wounds. A trauma center is equipped to treat severe and more life-threatening conditions, and the clinicians are highly trained in traumatic injuries. Trauma resuscitation teams respond to the emergency area to deliver resuscitative care of the traumatically injured. Trauma surgeons and specialists are required to be in-house and/or on-call 24 hours a day in a trauma center.

Maryland trauma centers are designated to have the resources and expertise to provide treatment to the critically injured. Maryland trauma centers function within existing hospitals and emergency areas (most are within the ED). Maryland has 9 adult trauma centers and 2 pediatric trauma centers located regionally around the state.

For more information about Maryland’s trauma centers, please visit

Elizabeth Wooster, PhD
Director, Trauma & Injury Specialty Care Program