Level 1 Trauma Center in Denver: Exceptional Care. Always.

Swedish Medical Center is a designated Level 1 Trauma Center, serving as the Rocky Mountain Region’s referral center for the most complex trauma cases. Our Level 1 trauma center is designated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and verified by the American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma. These achievements signify that we have the resources and experience to care for the most severely injured patients, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not all hospitals are equipped to care for highly complex surgical needs. Studies have shown that seriously injured patients have an increased survival rate of 25% at a Level 1 Trauma Center as compared to a facility with a lesser trauma designation.

Quality Defined. This is Swedish.

What Sets Us Apart

Our team of multidisciplinary trauma specialists offer a high level of compassionate care that has made us one of the most trusted sources for complex trauma care in the region. We are one of the very few hospitals in the nation with two world class orthopedic traumatologists who specialize in limb salvage and pelvic trauma and one of the few trauma programs that provide specialized, state-of-the-art care to burn patients.

“The doctors and nurses never limited what was possible for me.
I felt empowered to make my own choices and I never felt judged.”

Ryan, rock climbing fall survivor

Further our quality of care has been recognized among the nation’s elite by the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program (ACS TCIP®). Swedish Medical Center was ranked in the top ten percent these categories: overall mortality, mortality with severe traumatic brain injury, major complications elderly blunt multisystem trauma, major complication including death all patients, major complication including severe traumatic brain injury, and major complication including death elderly. We also are the only Level 1 trauma center with an “A” grade from The Leapfrog Group.

Our comprehensive trauma program includes:

  • Dedicated, experienced trauma/critical care surgeons: Our team of board-certified, fellowship-trained trauma/critical care surgeons and are internationally recognized as experts in the field. Learn more about our trauma surgeons
  • Rapid access to care: One of the most important aspects of trauma care is the quick, safe transportation of patients from the scene of an accident to the hospital’s operating room or trauma intensive care unit. Swedish has partnered with AirLife, HealthONE’s emergency medical transport service. The experienced AirLife team helps the most critically injured and ill patients in our region get to Swedish’s highly skilled physicians as quickly as possible.
  • Dedicated trauma rooms: Our emergency room is fully equipped to care for the most complex trauma patients with three dedicated trauma rooms, one specifically engineered and equipped for children.
  • Dedicated trauma operating rooms: Because we are committed to providing rapid, advanced care for our patients, we have set aside specialized trauma operating rooms to ensure our trauma patients get the surgical care and necessary equipment as quickly as possible.
  • An award-winning trauma intensive care unit: This unit includes board-certified trauma/critical care surgeons and physicians that are in-house 24/7, as well as a team of critical care certified registered nurses and therapists that provide conventional acute and critical care services. We use state-of-the-art equipment for cardiac and central nervous system monitoring and have access to specialists across the medical spectrum for consultation.
  • Specialized trauma anesthesiologists: The anesthesia department provides in-house board-certified anesthesiologists 24 hours a day as part of the surgical team, as well as registered nurses and state-of-the-art pain services. Our trauma anesthesiology team undergoes additional education and some become certified instructors for our Advanced Trauma Life Support classes.
  • A multi-trauma unit: The multi-trauma unit (MTU) provides acute nursing care at a variety of stages from respiratory management, including ventilators, through the beginning phases of rehabilitation. Providing aggressive therapy to prevent debilitation and complications that come with bed rest, the team works closely with patients who have sustained multi-trauma, spinal cord and column injuries, head injuries, and any other injury type.
  • Ongoing trauma research: We are dedicated to basic scientific research in the area of traumatic injury. Studies show that patient outcomes are substantially improved if an organized trauma system with interaction between basic research and clinical care is in place. Our research department has a staffed laboratory fully equipped for immunology, molecular biology and proteomic research, with multiple and diverse basic science and clinical projects underway.
  • Our research team has provided more than 100 publications and presentations and has 15 years of trauma-specific research experience. The research includes basic science, clinical research, diagnostic testing and population-based studies to improve the care of injured patients.
  • Trauma education: Our emergency medicine services, trauma and nursing personnel, trauma surgeons and surgical subspecialists are dedicated to providing education to the Denver community on a variety of trauma-related topics. Our team aims to create programs that are tailored to the particular needs of each member in the class. The goal is to work toward a well-educated community about reducing the risk of preventable, serious injuries. To learn more about trauma education classes offered at Swedish, please call (303) 788-5082.
  • Injury prevention: Injuries are very common but most of them are preventable. Our mission is to prevent unintentional injuries from happening in all ages of life and preserve quality of life. Learn more about the HealthONE injury prevention program.

“The team went above and beyond their call of duty.
It takes a special group of people to take you through the darkest time of your life.”

Sean, paragliding accident survivor

Specialized trauma programs

Outstanding compassionate care has defined Swedish and remains central to everything we do. We believe that experience matters and that is why we have created several dedicated trauma programs to provide the most advanced, comprehensive care possible.

Burn Care

Swedish Medical Center is proud to be one of the only Level 1 Trauma Centers with a dedicated burn unit in the south metro Denver area. Our comprehensive burn center offers two dedicated operating rooms, a burn intensive care unit, specialty pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), outpatient burn and reconstructive clinic and dedicated staff trained in the care and management of burn injuries.

I honestly feel the reason that I was sent to Swedish, was because he's the only one in the state of Colorado that could even attempt to put me back together. And he did that for me.

-Trevor, fireworks burn survivor

We strive to provide high quality, advanced specialized burn and reconstructive care to both adult and pediatric patients with a multidisciplinary team that is dedicated to increasing patient health outcomes. Our program provides 24/7 coverage by physicians who are specially trained in burn and reconstructive care.

The Burn and Reconstructive Center at Swedish

Facial Trauma

Your face is your identity. At Swedish, we understand that facial trauma is one of the most complex injuries to treat. That’s why we have a multidisciplinary panel of surgeons with specific expertise to offer patients the best possible outcomes. Whether at the time of trauma or after, our team is here to provide expert care.

Types of facial injury

Craniomaxillofacial trauma includes any injury to the soft tissues of the face, neck and scalp, as well as the hard tissues of the facial skeleton including the jaws, facial bones and skull base.

Soft tissue injuries: injuries to the skin and facial features; lips, nose, eyelids. Soft tissue injuries include dog bites, lacerations or other aesthetic issues.

Hard tissue injuries: injuries to the functional and structural bones in the face, such as eye sockets or jaws. It is essential to restore the damaged tissue to its original condition for the patient to fully function; for example, being able to chew and eat.

Common injuries that cause facial injury include sports-related injury, motor vehicle accident, animal attack wounds, interpersonal violence and falls.

Orthopedic Trauma

At Swedish, we offer an orthopedic trauma program to handle complex injuries and develop standardized approaches for the care of our patients. We have many orthopedic specialists who can diagnose and treat bone and joint injuries, broken bones, intra-articular fractures and rotator cuff tears.

Pelvic trauma

Further, we are one of only a handful of hospitals in the nation to maintain a team of orthopedic surgeons who specialize in pelvic trauma. With this system in place, our surgeons can provide specific pelvic expertise for each patient need from the onset of injury. Our panel of board-certified physicians is available 24 hours a day to treat patients with multiple injuries, complex fractures, pelvic and acetabular fractures.

Orthopedic Trauma Care


Swedish Medical Center ranks among the nation’s top neuroscience programs, serving as a leader in the field of neurology and neurosciences and the treatment of stroke. Our program combines state-of-the-art technology with an outstanding team who have extensive experience and expertise in treating nearly all forms of neurological disease, including neurotrauma such as a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury. When a brain or spinal cord injury occurs, time is critical. As a Level 1 Trauma Center, Swedish’s team of specialists are in-house 24/7 to provide immediate care to patients from the moment they arrive through outpatient care and rehabilitation.

Swedish Medical Center Neuroscience Center of Excellence

Pediatric Trauma

The benefits of our Level 1 Trauma Center extend to even our youngest patients. Our pediatric team works closely to provide the same level of experienced trauma care our adult patients receive. We have a dedicated pediatric trauma room specifically designed and equipped for children. Our pediatric intensive care team is supported by pediatric subspecialists, and is on call around the clock. Our physicians are specialized in cardiology, neurological care and endocrinology, allowing them to treat complex injuries.

We also have a pediatric intensive care unit to meet the needs of pediatric intensive care patients and their families.