About the Level 1 Trauma Center

The Level I Trauma Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is a leader in providing life-saving trauma care to New Jersey residents.

One of only three Level I Trauma Centers in New Jersey, the center at RWJUH cares for nearly 2,500 trauma patients annually in an Emergency Department that sees nearly 90,000 patients each year.

In addition to treating the seriously injured, clinical faculty affiliated with the Level I Trauma Center at RWJUH conducts research and educates other health care professionals about the most recent advances in trauma care.

For example, RWJUH is one of the few centers in the nation to offer an Emergency Medical Services/Disaster Medicine Program in partnership with Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The highly selective fellowship trains doctors in the best ways to treat patients at emergency scenes, from small car accidents to 9/11-style mass terrorist attacks (Click for related Star Ledger story at NJ.com).

Recent research and innovations designed to enhance the overall quality of trauma care include:

  • Recognizing that determining blood loss at the scene of a trauma case can be critical to successful patient treatment, a team from RWJ developed a new, simple method to greatly improve the accuracy of measuring blood loss at the scene of trauma cases. In the past, EMS technicians have used visual estimations which can be highly inaccurate. They developed the MAR method, which relies upon a person's fist to determine external blood loss.
  • A study which determined that one in three stethoscopes used by EMS personnel in a New Jersey emergency department tested positive for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). The results led to process improvements such as providing isopropyl alcohol wipes at hospital emergency room entrances so EMS professionals can regularly clean their stethoscopes.
  • In addition to research, clinical faculty contribute many journal articles, chapters and books to educate professionals in their field. Recently, a book authored by Vicente H. Gracias, MD, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Trauma/Surgical Critical Care at Rutgers RWJMS, and Director of the Level I Trauma Center at RWJUH, earned a spot on General Surgery News' Top 10 list. Dr. Gracias' book, "Acute Care Surgery - A Guide for General Surgeons," recently reached No. 1 on the prestigious publication's list.

Educating the community about how to stay safe and out of the emergency department is a large part of the Level I Trauma Center's mission. Led by Diana Starace, The center's Injury Prevention Program regularly offers presentations and conferences to educate the community about the importance of a wide range of safety topics. Programs include:

  • Safe Kids in the Park - countywide community car seat safety inspection events
  • Car seat safety inspections by appointment
  • Special needs car seat consultation and installation
  • Operation Kids registered nurse workshops
  • Child passenger safety community workshops
  • Child passenger safety technician and update refresher training
  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Bicycle Safety
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome programs
  • Senior citizen safety and fall prevention in the home
  • A Safety Ambassador Program, which links local high school students with elementary school students to provide education in the areas of injury prevention and safety
  • Conferences on hot topics such as distracted driving, which drew 130 participants and extensive media coverage from outlets such as NJ 101.5, WCBS News Radio 800, News 4 New York and News 12 New Jersey in March 2010.

Exceptional care, education, research and community outreach are all hallmarks of the Level I Trauma Center at RWJUH.