Why Oklahoma Needs a Trauma System

​Traumatic injuries aren't rare events:

  • Each year, between 2,000 and 2,500 Oklahomans die from trauma injures. 

  • Trauma is the leading cause of death for Oklahomans between the ages of 1 and 44 years.

  • According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, approximately 17 to 20 percent (350-400 people) will be saved with a trauma care system, including a Level One Trauma Center.

  • Overall, trauma ranks as the third leading cause of death in the state, behind heart disease and cancer; however trauma results in more years of potential life lost (37 years) than any diseases.

Traumatic injuries are costly in many ways:

  • Across the country, trauma care exceeds $64 billion each year. It is estimated that trauma (24-hour medical staffing, technological resources, medical property, extended hospital stays, loss of productivity) costs $1.5 billion in Oklahoma each year which is more than $400 for each man, woman and child living in the state.

  • One of the keys to reducing this unnecessary loss is an active, statewide trauma system centered around a Level One Trauma Center. As verified by the American College of Surgeons' Committee on Trauma, a Level One Trauma Center is a comprehensive regional resource central to the state's trauma system. 

  • Trauma centers like The Trauma One Center at OU Medical Center are capable of providing total care for every aspect of injury from prevention through rehabilitation.

If you or a loved one is injured, time is a critical factor in your recovery:

  • To work properly, the state trauma system must have efficient access to a Level One Trauma Center. Paramedics, ambulance services and other hospitals, from the largest metro hospital to the smallest community hospital, must be committed to getting the most critical trauma patients to the Level One Trauma Center as quickly as possible, often bypassing closer facilities to reach the trauma center within the "Golden Hour.

  • When a person is critically injured, time becomes a serious factor. Research shows that multi-injury patients who reach a trauma center and are taken to the operating room within an hour of the injury have a much greater chance of surviving. That first hour after a critical injury is known as the "Golden Hour".

A Level One Trauma Center has many advantages:

  • Physicians and surgery teams are inside the hospital at all times, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients can be seen by board certified trauma surgeons or medical specialists within minutes of arrival at the Trauma One Center at OU Medical Center. 

  • This immediate medical attention is not always possible at non-Level One Trauma Centers where specialists and surgeons are on call and must be summoned. At a Level One Trauma Center, the patient can be taken immediately to an operating room —a critical factor for the survival of a multi-injury trauma patient.