Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford Re-Verified as a Level I Trauma Center

For Release: July 11, 2017

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford have been re-verified as a Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) — the highest possible ranking for trauma centers. Evaluations are done every three years, and the Level 1 verification recognizes hospitals’ commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for all injured patients.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is one of only five Level 1 pediatric trauma centers verified by the ACS in California, and it is the only one on the Peninsula. Stanford Health Care is in its thirtieth year as a trauma center, and it has been recognized as a Level 1 trauma center since 1998.

To be verified as a Level 1 trauma center, hospitals must provide the resources necessary for handling the most serious trauma injuries, from admission through treatment, rehabilitation and follow-up care. Specifically, a Level 1 trauma center must provide access to:

  • Coordinated response from all necessary specialty medical staff
  • 24-hour availability of trauma surgeons and emergency medicine doctors, including pediatric surgeons
  • Operating rooms that are equipped and ready at all times
  • Neurosurgical and neurological care for severely injured patients
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for the special needs of children with serious illness or injury
  • In-hospital anesthesiologists

Collectively, Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford see approximately 2,700 trauma patients per year, with 65 percent of those patients requiring hospital admission — the most admissions of any trauma center in the county.

“Providing high-quality care to trauma patients and saving lives during the most critical moments is our primary goal at Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital,” said David Spain, MD, chief of trauma and critical care surgery at Stanford Health Care and professor of surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “Our collaborative approach to care, which includes a multidisciplinary team of trauma surgeons, emergency physicians, and specialists — including neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, plastic surgeons, cardiac surgeons and more — is paramount to providing patients with the right care at the right time.”

The Level 1 verification comes in conjunction with Level 1 designation by the Santa Clara County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency. The Verification Review Committee, an ad hoc team of the ACS’s Committee on Trauma, conducts onsite reviews of trauma centers. In California, after the ACS provides confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for all injured patients, trauma centers are then designated by their local Emergency Medical Services Agencies.

“At Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, we want to make sure we are always there to care for our community's most critically injured children,” said Stephanie Chao, MD, pediatric trauma medical director at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health and assistant professor of pediatric surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “Our collaboration with Stanford Health Care’s emergency department enables us to meet the needs of these patients and their families at the moment they need it most. With the re-verification of our Level 1 trauma center, we are honored that the hospital's efforts providing quality round-the-clock care have been recognized.”

The ACS is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice. The College has over 80,000 members, and it is the largest association of surgeons in the world.

About Stanford Medicine Children's Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at