The Seton Healthcare Family has long been the leading provider of emergency healthcare services in Central Texas, including the highest level of trauma care in the region, a Level I Trauma Center.
Emergency Care vs. Trauma Care: What’s the Difference?
An emergency room is specially staffed and equipped to handle most medical emergencies. This includes very serious conditions, like a heart attack, to less immediate ones, like a sprained wrist.
Trauma centers are part of the emergency room system, and focus specifically on life-threatening medical situations. Serious burns, head injuries and severe car accidents are all examples of incidents that could require trauma center treatment. The decision about whether a medical issue should be treated in the ER or in a trauma center is made by a medical provider. If there’s any doubt, call 911. The dispatch professional will assist you.
Level I Trauma Centers
The most comprehensive level of trauma care, a Level I Trauma Center is equipped and staffed 24 hours a day to address a full range of medical conditions. A Level I Trauma Center also serves as a referral and educational resource for the surrounding community. University Medical Center Brackenridge and Dell Children’s Medical Center are both designated as Level I Trauma Centers.
Level II Trauma Centers
Level II Trauma Centers are fully prepared to initiate a range of comprehensive care options for patients. More complex cases may require referral and transfer to a Level I Trauma Center. As our only Level II Trauma Center, Seton Medical Center Williamson is designated as a Level II Trauma Center, and maintains all the necessary resources to immediately care for severely injured patients.
Level III Trauma Centers
A Level III Trauma Center can demonstrate the ability to promptly assess and stabilize injured patients as well as offer surgery, emergency operations and intensive care services.
Level IV Trauma Centers
Level IV Trauma Centers evaluate, diagnose and stabilize injured patients. Level IV Trauma Centers can provide advanced trauma life support (ATLS) before transferring patients to a higher level of trauma care.
Emergency Care at Seton
Seton Healthcare Family offers comprehensive emergency care across Central Texas. 24-hour emergency services are available at:
- Dell Children’s Medical Center
- UMC Brackenridge
- Seton Medical Center Williamson
- Seton Medical Center Austin
- Seton Medical Center Hays
- Seton Southwest Hospital
- Seton Northwest Hospital
- Seton Highland Lakes Hospital
View our trauma locations for more information.
For mini emergencies at select locations, schedule an ER appointment online and you’ll be seen within 15 minutes of your scheduled appointment time.
Mental Health & Substance Abuse Emergency Care
Not all emergency care situations involve acute physical injury. For those in need of immediate psychiatric care or emergency care due to substance abuse issues, Seton maintains a Psychiatric Emergency Services Department at UMC Brackenridge to meet the needs of people in crisis. Psychiatric emergency services are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Trauma centers are categorized by the American Trauma Society according to the number of patients admitted and types of services provided. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) verifies the presence of resources that are recommended by the American Trauma Society for optimal patient care. Verification of a trauma center is a voluntary process that takes three years to complete.
Because pediatric and adult trauma services are classified separately, Seton operates two Level I centers, one for children and another for adults.