About the Southern Nevada Trauma System

What is a Trauma System?

Intentional and unintentional injuries are the leading causes of death and disability for those between the ages of 1 and 44 in the United States each year and generate significant social and economic expenses for medical treatment and lost productivity of victims. Further, natural and man-made disasters are capable of producing large numbers of injured patients. The recognition of the significant impact that traumatic injury has on the individual and society has led to a greater emphasis on the development of trauma systems of care. Trauma systems conduct daily operations to optimize patient outcome and can readily adapt to manage an influx of injured patients resulting from a mass casualty incident.

What is Trauma?


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Trauma is a disease process that has identifiable causes, established treatment procedures, and defined methods of prevention. The trauma patient is a person who requires timely diagnosis and treatment of their injuries by a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals, supported by the necessary resources, to reduce or eliminate the risk of death or permanent disability.1

A trauma system is an organized, coordinated, comprehensive injury response network of essential resources that promotes injury prevention and control initiatives and provides specialized care for those who are injured. The system facilitates appropriate triage and transportation of trauma patients through the emergency medical services system to designated health care facilities that possess the capability, competence, and commitment to provide optimum care for the victims of trauma. It also promotes rehabilitation services to decrease the likelihood of long-term disability and maximize the potential for injured patients to return to their prior level of functional capacity and reintegration into the community.

The goals of a trauma care delivery system are to:

  • Reduce the incidence and severity of injuries
  • Improve the health outcome of those who are injured by ensuring equitable access to the most appropriate health care resources in a timely manner
  • Promote efficient, cost-effective delivery of care
  • Implement performance improvement activities to ensure quality care throughout the system
  • Advocate for sufficient resources to meet the needs of the injured in the community.

1 2002 Trauma System Agenda for the Future. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration