The Penn State Health Approach to Critical Care

If you have a medical emergency, it's comforting to know there are experts nearby you can count on. Penn State Health offers expert, timely care from a team that specializes in lifesaving care, 24/7.

We offer the area's only Level I Trauma Center for both children and adults, meeting the medical emergencies of more than 1 million people in central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. As an academic medical center, we have the expertise to treat even the most complex illnesses and injuries. Our team uses the latest advancements and offers complete care, from emergency treatment to follow-up care and collaboration with primary care doctors.

When you need expert medical care right away, you can count on us for leading-edge treatment.

Complete Care for a Full Range of Critical Care Conditions

We offer seamless, team-based care to treat severe injuries and illnesses that need immediate attention. Our specialists provide lifesaving care for a wide range of traumatic injuries and conditions. They treat everything from appendicitis to heart and lung problems and complex traumatic injuries.

As a Level I Trauma Center - the highest designation of trauma care - our trauma surgeons, emergency department doctors, and dedicated specialists, nurses and technologists are available to deliver around-the-clock attention. Our palliative care team and pain management specialists help manage pain and keep patients as comfortable as possible.

We also provide support and guidance to ensure you and your family have the information and resources you need, including rehabilitation and follow-up care. We work with primary care doctors and other providers to make your transition to recovery as seamless and worry-free as possible.

What Is a Level I Trauma Center?

A Level I Trauma Center can provide complete care for every aspect of injury, from prevention through rehabilitation. A facility must have full-time coverage of general surgeons and timely availability of specialists in areas such as anesthesiology, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, critical care, plastic surgery, imaging and more.

According to the American Trauma Society, facilities must also:

  • Be a referral resource for nearby regions
  • Provide leadership in prevention and public education to surrounding communities
  • Offer continuing education to the trauma team
  • Have a comprehensive quality assessment program in place
  • Operate organized teaching and research efforts to promote trauma care innovations
  • Offer a program for substance abuse screening and intervention
  • Treat a certain number of severely injured patients annually

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Learn more about support groups offered

Experts in Care

Meet our doctors, view their profiles and select the one that’s right for you.

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Critical Care

Families from across central Pennsylvania trust our experienced team of trauma, acute care and critical care experts.

Nationally Recognized Critical Care

Penn State Health offers the highest level of coordinated, quality and safe care in one place. We’re known for:

  • The area’s only Level I Trauma Center for children and adults in south central Pennsylvania, treating approximately 2,700 adults every year
  • Doctors who are leaders in critical care, many who are consistently recognized among the Best Doctors® in America
  • Our technologically advanced, surgical intensive care unit (SICU) that offers leading-edge care for cardiothoracic, general, vascular, transplant, trauma, and neurological surgeries, with 1,800 annual admissions
  • Educational programs to help prevent injuries, including first aid training, fall-prevention and safe driving classes

Expert, Team-Based Care Designed for You

Our critical care team treats a wide range of conditions. Your care team may include experts in trauma, emergency care, acute care, critical care, imaging, respiratory therapy and more.

We work closely with specialists in lung care, cardiovascular care, neurology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation and therapy, pain management, palliative care, social work and more. You get coordinated care and personal attention from a multidisciplinary team.

Clinical Care Research and Clinical Trials

Penn State Health is continually looking for better ways to treat critical illness and injuries. Our critical care team, in partnership with Penn State College of Medicine, is conducting studies in biomedical engineering, cardiology, trauma surgery, neurosurgery, radiology, respiratory therapy and more. Learn more about our clinical trials.

Conditions Treated

  • Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
  • Complex injuries
  • Complications from surgery
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Renal failure
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Severe breathing problems
  • Severe infections

Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

Find a location near you