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Level 1 Trauma Center

Comprehensive Care

Our trauma care team stays with you every step of the way, coordinating care with other specialists to ensure you're getting the right treatment.

Trauma is the leading cause of death in the U.S., yet fewer than 8 percent of hospitals have a trauma center.

UC San Diego Health leads the nation in effective trauma care, operating the region's first Level 1 Trauma Center. Our team has provided care for critical injuries in San Diego and Imperial Counties since 1976.

The Trauma Center at UC San Diego Medical Center is part of the San Diego Trauma System, a collaborative, lifesaving countywide effort of six hospitals. We serve the area west of the I-805 freeway to the ocean and south of I-8 down to the Mexican border.

We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and care for over 3,200 patients every year.

We offer treatment for critical injuries and conditions resulting from:

  • Motor vehicle collisions
  • Falls
  • Violence
  • Drowning
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Fires

Our state-of-the-art trauma resuscitation unit provides the highest quality of comprehensive care to a larger number of severely injured patients. Our trauma bays, resuscitation suites and surgical intensive care unit (SICU) are equipped with leading-edge monitoring, imaging and life-support technologies.

We also have a surgical progressive unit for patients recuperating from surgical treatment of a traumatic injury.

Transport and Pre-Hospital Care for Trauma Patients

Whether patients arrive by helicopter or ambulance, their care is coordinated by mobile intensive care nurses and doctors begins before they get to the hospital.

Patients who have a serious multisystem injury, or require resuscitation or immediate surgical intervention, will bypass the Emergency Department and be brought directly to the Trauma Center resuscitation suite or operating room.

Emergency Pediatric Trauma Care

Our Trauma Center handles the care of pediatric trauma patients in the event that a large number of children in San Diego county are critically injured and Rady Children's Hospital is unable to take more patients (referred to as trauma bypass).

Leaders in Prevention and Research of Trauma

We also focus on prevention, because injuries from trauma that are the most life-threatening are also the most preventable. Read about trauma prevention.

Our physician-scientists actively conduct research to improve outcomes for patients. Learn about clinical trials in trauma care.

Contact Us

  • Trauma Center: 619-543-6222
  • Clinical care appointments and referrals: 619-543-6886
  • Administrative offices (not for new patients or referrals): 619-543-7200
  • For Referring Physicians


UC San Diego – Hillcrest

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