The Center for Trauma and Critical Care

Trauma Team at GW University Hospital, Washington, DC

Virtual Visits Available

Virtual Health enables you to speak with providers using your phone, tablet or computer. Call 888-4GW-DOCS to schedule a virtual appointment.

The Center for Trauma and Critical Care at The George Washington University Hospital provides premier care to severely injured and critically ill patients for 75 miles surrounding the Greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. 

Spectrum of Care

The Trauma Center is a Level I American College of Surgeons (ACS) verified facility that evaluates and treats more than 2,000 patients per year. 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 Service, provided by the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, is also available to help patients manage post-operative and post-traumatic pain while in the hospital. 

Advanced Augmented Reality Technology

GW Hospital is the first hospital in the country to use the OpenSight® Augmented Reality System for pre-operative surgical care. This advanced system creates 2D, 3D and 4D images and overlays directly onto the patient's body to enable surgeons to simultaneously see outside and inside the patient during surgical planning. Using this technology, surgeons can highlight relevant anatomy and critical structures to avoid during the procedure. This can help the surgeons more accurately plan the procedure, which can enhance accuracy and shorten the operation time.

Podcast: What is a Level 1 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

Trauma Survivors Group

We invite all trauma survivors, family members and loved ones to join our Trauma Survivors Group. The Group meets at the hospital on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 6 - 8 p.m.

Learn More About Trauma Survivors Group

Patient Direct Admit Process

Physicians can directly admit their patients for treatment at GW Hospital. Follow these steps to direct admit a patient >

Download the direct admit medicine form and fax to 202-715-5608 >

Download the direct admit surgery form and fax to 202-715-5608 >

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 toll free: 1-855-SEND-2-GW or 1-855-736-3249. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Watch Babak Sarani, MD, Director of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, discuss trauma surgery at GW Hospital.

In this video, Dr. Sarani explains what bullets do to the human body.

GW Hospital Critical Care Emergency Transport Program

In January 2018, GW Hospital launched its critical care transport program to help provide lifesaving care to patients in the DC area, no matter how far from our facility they may be. Our ambulance functions as a mobile intensive care unit that allows critically ill patients to be transferred 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 Research

Research into advanced methods and processes of care is a core function of the Center for Trauma and Critical Care. We currently have active protocols evaluating medications that may improve outcomes following brain injury, methods to rapidly diagnose coagulopathy, and advanced methods to treat severe chest injury, such as rib plating reconstructive surgery. GW Hospital serves as the lead trauma center regionally and nationally in investigating ways to prevent death following mass shootings.

The trauma surgeons and emergency medicine physicians on the medical staff at GW Hospital are routinely invited to teach and present their research findings at 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.

GW Trauma Surgeons are regional leaders in providing trauma care. Dr. Babak Sarani and Dr. Jordan Estroff serve as Chair and Vice Chair of the Washington, DC American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. Together, they are tasked with coordinating care among all the trauma centers in DC and one in Virginia.

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

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