Trauma Services | Tampa Bay’s First & Only Level 1 Trauma Center

TGH Trauma Services: Tampa Bay’s First & Only Level 1 Trauma Center

In Tampa General Hospital's Wallace Trauma Center, unwavering expertise meets compassionate care. As a Level I Trauma Center, we stand at the forefront of providing the highest level of specialized medical services for individuals facing life-threatening injuries. Beyond immediate intervention, Tampa General Hospital is committed to advancing trauma research, education and community outreach. Discover how our level one trauma center is not just a beacon of hope in critical moments but a cornerstone in the ongoing pursuit of excellence in trauma care.

What Is a Level 1 Trauma Center?

A Level I Trauma Center is a medical facility that provides the highest level of specialized care to patients suffering from severe and life-threatening injuries. Designated by stringent criteria set by accrediting bodies, a level one trauma center is equipped with a comprehensive range of medical services, including 24/7 access to specialized surgeons, emergency medicine physicians and other critical care specialists. These centers are capable of managing the most complex trauma cases, such as severe car accidents, gunshot wounds or major falls. In addition to having state-of-the-art facilities and advanced medical technology, level one trauma centers play a pivotal role in trauma research, education and community outreach. They serve as regional hubs, collaborating with emergency medical services and healthcare providers to ensure swift and coordinated responses to traumatic injuries, ultimately enhancing the chances of survival and optimal recovery for patients.

What Sets TGH Apart as a Level 1 Trauma Center?

As mentioned above, there are many components that are required to earn the designation of a Level I Trauma Center. Here’s what sets TGH trauma services department apart from others in the area:

American College of Surgeons Verification

Tampa General Hospital is the only level one trauma center in West Central Florida providing treatment to adult and pediatric patients with critical injuries. We are the first and only hospital in Florida to achieve national Level I Trauma Center verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS). A review team from the ACS—consisting of nationally recognized experts in trauma care—performed an in-depth, on-site assessment of every aspect of TGH’s trauma program. The ACS recognizes the TGH level one trauma center for its dedication to providing optimal care for adults and children, as well as its demonstrated commitment to education, research and community outreach.

24/7 Onsite Trauma Team

Unlike level two trauma centers, our multidisciplinary team of Level I trauma physicians, specialty surgeons, nurses and other healthcare specialists is onsite 24/7 and is committed to providing excellent and compassionate care to all victims of trauma. This unique immediate availability and expertise of specialty-trained professionals at level one trauma centers has been linked to increased patient survival and superior functional outcomes when compared to level two trauma centers. Our extensive resources allow us to provide world-class care for all aspects of an injury, from surgery to rehabilitation.

World-Class Experience and Expertise

Level I Trauma Centers also require a certain volume of severe injury patients, meaning we treat more trauma patients than any other trauma center in the region. TGH treats more than 2,500 trauma patients each year, including severely injured patients and those with uncommon injuries that require the resources of a level one trauma center.

Leadership in Education & Research

Level I Trauma Centers are also required to provide leadership in education, research and community outreach. As the region’s first and largest teaching hospital, Tampa General partners with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine to pioneer breakthrough treatments, conduct game-changing clinical research and train the next generation of trauma healthcare professionals. TGH also serves as a leader in community education and efforts aimed at the prevention of injuries.

Specialty Trauma

TGH is designated by the Florida Department of Health as a Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program (BSCIP) and is one of four burn centers in Florida verified by the American Burn Association. We serve as a regional resource for subspecialty care that is not always available at surrounding level two trauma centers and other hospitals.

Pediatric Trauma

TGH is also verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center—and we are the only one on the West Coast of Florida. Our specialists, including pediatric surgeons and pediatric neurosurgeons, are onsite 24/7 providing the highest level of trauma care for children.

Pediatric inpatients are cared for within Tampa General Hospital’s Children’s Hospital.


Patients with traumatic injuries have the greatest chance of survival if they reach a trauma center within sixty minutes of their injury—the period known as the “golden hour.” To save time, patients are often transported to trauma centers by helicopter. Aeromed, TGH’s aeromedical transport program,* is equipped with the most advanced life-support equipment to transport critically ill or injured patients from 23 surrounding counties. Patients may be transferred to a level one trauma center like TGH when a physician feels the patient’s needs exceed the capabilities of their current facility or the patient would benefit from services available at a level one trauma center.

*Air transport services provided by Metro Aviation, Inc.

Quick Facts About TGH’s Level 1 Trauma Center

  • We treat nearly 500 severely injured patients (ISS>15) each year.
  • TGH is the only Level I Trauma Center in West Central Florida and the first and only verified American College of Surgeons (ACS) Level I trauma center in the state of Florida.
  • TGH is designated as a Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program (BSCIP) by the Florida Department of Health.
  • Specialty surgeons are available for the following trauma cases: cardiac, hand, microsurgery, obstetric/gynecologic, ophthalmic, oral/maxillofacial, orthopedic, otorhinolaryngologic, plastic, thoracic and urologic.
  • TGH operates six aeromedical helicopters* to transport trauma patients from 23 surrounding counties.
  • We treat trauma patients of all ages.
  • Our dedicated trauma operating rooms are always ready.
  • We participate in an inclusive system of trauma care, including providing leadership, system evaluation and quality improvement activities.