A Level I Verified Trauma Center

The Center for Trauma and Critical Care at The George Washington University Hospital provides premier care to severely injured and critically ill patients for 80 miles surrounding the Greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. It is an American College of Surgeons (ACS) Level I verified trauma center that evaluates and treats more than 1,600 patients per year.

Trauma Surgery

Trauma surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, trauma-trained nurses, anesthesiologists and operating room personnel are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to evaluate and treat any injury. Located six blocks from the White House, three blocks from the State Department, and across the street from the World Bank, the Center for Trauma and Critical Care at GW Hospital is prepared to service a diverse group of patients, from area residents to visiting dignitaries and heads of state.

Along with a wide range of specialists, including neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, otolaryngologists and rehabilitation specialists, we are able to treat all kinds of injuries at any time of day or night. Acute pain management services are provided by the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine. These services are available to help patients manage post-operative and post-traumatic pain while in the hospital.

Podcast: What is a Level I Trauma Center?

Babak Sarani, MD, FACS, FCCM, explains what the designation of a Level I Trauma Center means to patients in need of emergency care. He discusses the staffing, equipment and procedures that go into providing care for the most critically injured patients.

Listen to the podcast

Patient Direct Admit Process

Patient Transfer Center

GW offers quarternary level support to surrounding hospitals that seek advice or help in the management of severely injured or critically ill patients. Quarternary care refers to hospitals that provide all medical service, such as trauma and organ transplant. Transport for patients can be arranged as requested by a referring physician or hospital. 

For transfer requests, please call 1-855-SEND-2-GW or 1-855-736-3249. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Trauma Survivors Network

The Center for Trauma and Critical Care is a proud member of the American Trauma Society Trauma Survivor’s Network (TNS). The program includes a monthly support group meeting, individual peer-to-peer support sessions and annual events to honor and celebrate trauma survivors. The GW Hospital TSN program engages with multiple departments within the hospital and with other hospitals in the country to provide the most appropriate support and opportunities for trauma survivors in the region. The group is open to all trauma survivors, family members and loved ones. It is a space where individuals who have experienced traumatic injury can connect with others who have experienced similar circumstances.

Trauma Survivors Day

Since 2012, GW Hospital has held an annual celebration for patients who survived extremely severe injuries. This day provides an opportunity for our staff to re-engage with these patients, give thanks for their recovery and also for our own fortunes, and highlight the rewards of our collective service as care providers. Members from all departments of the hospital and medical staff join 4-6 select patients in this annual celebration.

GW Hospital Critical Care Transport Team

In January 2018, GW Hospital launched its critical care transport program to help provide lifesaving care to patients in the DC area within an 80-mile radius. Our ambulance functions as a mobile intensive care unit that transfers critically ill patients to GW Hospital from our partner hospitals throughout the metropolitan region. At the beginning of the program, we partnered with area hospitals in Maryland and Virginia to pick up, stabilize and safely transport their critically ill patients to GW Hospital for a higher level of care. GW Hospital’s critical care transport ambulance is staffed by paramedics and critical care nurses who are trained and equipped to provide this acute service.


The Center for Trauma and Critical Care is committed to educating all members of the care team — from field emergency medical providers to physicians and nurses. We provide the following:

  • Local pre-hospital provider continuing medical education as requested
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support Course of the American College of Surgeons (ATLS)
  • Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC)
  • Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses (ATCN)
  • Fundamental Critical Care Support (FCCS)
  • Stop the Bleed (STB)
  • Internet-based education on trauma prevention and injury management

Cutting-edge Trauma Research

Research into advanced methods and processes of care is a core function of the Center for Trauma and Critical Care. The Center routinely publishes novel research projects related to brain injury, orthopedic injury, bleeding and resuscitation, emergency medicine, critical care, and numerous other topics within the field of acute care surgery. Trauma surgeons serve as invited speakers at leading local, regional and national meetings, including the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, The Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, The Society of Critical Care Medicine, The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and The American Academy of Emergency Medicine.

We are currently the lead center for an AAST sponsored study on use of whole blood transfusion and a participating center in several other national multi-center studies. We were also the lead center for a city-wide study evaluating recidivism following violent injury in Washington, DC.

Currently, GW Hospital is one of only two trauma centers in the region to be chosen as a site for the TAP study, which seeks to determine if there is a benefit to administering prothrombin complex concentrate in a massive transfusion event for acute injury.

Prevention and Outreach

The Center for Trauma and Critical Care is also focused on injury prevention. We have a dedicated injury prevention team committed to identifying patterns of injury and directing our prevention efforts accordingly. Areas of focus include:

  • Falls prevention
  • Bike safety
  • Pedestrian-related injuries
  • Construction-related injuries
  • Alcohol and drug related injuries

Schedule a Follow-up Appointment

If you were previously at the Center and need to schedule a follow-up appointment at the trauma clinic, please call 202-677-6219.