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Level I Trauma Center

The question of where to go in a life or death emergency does not come up often for most people, if ever. However, when serious injuries do arise, Indiana University Health is ready to help. We are home to Indiana’s most established Level I Adult Trauma Center at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital and the state’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, both in Indianapolis. In addition, Indiana University Health Arnett Hospital in Lafayette and Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie are the state’s only Level III trauma centers. Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital is working on Level III Trauma Center verification. This means we have the people and technology­­­­ to provide comprehensive care for any type of injury at any time.

A trauma center is not the same thing as an emergency department. At IU Health, our Trauma Centers provide advanced, comprehensive care for traumatic injuries that gives patients access to more resources and technology than they can receive in an emergency department. Trauma centers must have operating rooms, imaging technology, trauma surgeons and other specialty physicians available quickly at all times. Trauma centers must be dedicated to preventing injury, providing high-quality care and improving staff education about the treatment and assessment of traumatic injuries.

Trauma refers to damage that the body sustains from an external force. Among the many potential sources of trauma are automobile accidents, falls, and knife and gunshot wounds. Examples of trauma include:

  • Multiple fractures
  • Acute spine injuries
  • Punctured lungs
  • Stab wounds
  • Brain injuries

By delivering highly specialized care right away, the trauma centers of IU Health save lives and optimize patients’ recovery. Trauma centers are verified from levels one through four by the American College of Surgeons, with Level I Trauma Centers providing the most complete set of services—total care from prevention through rehabilitation.

Research has found a 25 percent reduction in deaths for severely injured patients cared for at a Level I Trauma Center compared with those receiving treatment outside a trauma center. Outcomes are best when treatment begins within the “golden hour”—the 60 minutes following a traumatic injury.

Fewer than 10 percent of U.S. hospitals have a trauma center. Fortunately, only a few patients have injuries severe enough to require these specialized services. Most injuries can be treated in a typical emergency department or, in the case of milder strains and pains, in your primary healthcare provider’s office or an urgent care center.

When you have traumatic injuries, the right care at the right time can be lifesaving. At Indiana University Health, we have assembled the people and resources to provide top-quality care for the most seriously injured patients—no matter when they come to us.

Our specialized trauma services ensure the best possible outcomes for the most critical cases. Through our affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine, our surgeons and emergency medicine physicians train the next generation of physicians and carry out innovative research in trauma care.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Level I Trauma Center Treatment Information

Our commitment to make a full range of expertise and technology available at all times sets our trauma care apart. Our resources and services include:


Level I Trauma Center Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area. 

Find a Specialist

Enter a Zip Code to find a specialist at IU Health.


Level I Trauma Center Support Services

Learn more about trauma prevention and care at these websites: