Level II Trauma Center in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is a regional trauma center. This means that our hospital has been designated by the Florida Department of Health and American College of Surgeons to handle serious, life-threatening injuries and complex cases.

As the county’s only Level II Trauma Center, our hospital provides a level of care beyond the capabilities of the emergency rooms (ERs) at local hospitals. In fact, patients who arrive at community hospitals with serious illnesses or injuries are often transported to our hospital for treatment.

If someone is experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

What causes traumatic injuries?

Trauma is a special type of medical emergency, which requires specialized training and critical treatment. Medically, trauma is a serious wound, injury or shock to the body. The injury may be complicated or worsened by psychiatric, behavioral and social factors.

Trauma can be caused by:

  • Assault
  • Burns
  • Drowning
  • Falls
  • Fire, flood, hurricane or other natural disaster
  • Motor vehicle collision
  • Sports injury
  • Stabbing

What is a Level II Trauma Center?

A Level II Trauma Center is the second highest designation of trauma centers, indicating that advanced care is available.

Having a Level II Trauma Center nearby increases the chances of survival for patients who have sustained traumatic injuries. This is why we are proud to offer this level of trauma care to Northwest Florida as part of our emergency care program.

Our Level II Trauma Center

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is affiliated with Florida’s first and largest statewide network of trauma centers. This network was developed as an affiliation between the University of South Florida (USF) and HCA Healthcare to improve access to care and outcomes of injured patients.

For more information about our trauma services, please call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (850) 864-0213.

In-house specialty services available 24/7

As a Level II Trauma Center, our hospital provides 24/7 access to board-certified providers and specialty services. Having this in-house expertise available at all times means immediate treatment of all types of traumatic and complex injuries.

Our trauma center features:

  • 24/7 on-site coverage by our trauma care team
    • Anesthesiologists
    • Emergency medicine physicians
    • Internal medicine specialists
    • Radiologists
    • Surgical services staff
    • Trauma surgeons
    • Trauma-trained nurses
  • 24/7 access to on-call specialty providers
    • Critical care specialists
    • Neurosurgeons
    • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons
    • Orthopedic surgeons
    • Pediatric specialists
    • Plastic surgeons

Additionally, we have two dedicated trauma operating rooms (ORs), providing our surgeons rapid access to ORs equipped for trauma surgeries. We also have computed tomography (CT) scanners right in the ER, with ready access to blood products through our blood bank.

Adherence to national quality and safety standards

Having met the strict quality and safety standards set by the American College of Surgeons, our hospital participates in a national quality program with more than 300 other trauma centers nationwide. Based on its patient outcome results, our hospital consistently ranks within the top percentile nationwide for our care of patients who are seriously injured.

In fact, in the most recent report, it was found that patients who were seriously injured and then treated at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center were much more likely to survive and not develop a major complication than patients treated at other participating trauma centers.

Advanced trauma care close to home

The "golden hour" is the 60-minute window after a traumatic event. In this hour, prompt medical treatment has the greatest chance of decreasing disability and death.

Before Fort Walton Beach Medical Center became a designated trauma center, much of the critical golden hour was spent transporting the patient to the nearest trauma center 40 miles away.

Advanced trauma care is now available close to home because of our trauma-trained staff and our partnerships with regional emergency medical services (EMS). Our Level II Trauma Center in Fort Walton Beach decreases transportation times, providing patients in Northwest Florida faster access to trauma care.

Pediatric ER

For children, we have a dedicated pediatric ER adjacent to our main ER. Our pediatric ER is staffed by board-certified pediatric emergency medicine physicians. This means whenever you bring your child to our trauma center, we have pediatric-trained physicians ready to meet the unique needs of your child.

Public education and awareness

As a Level II Trauma Center, we take a leadership role in prevention, public education and continuing education of trauma team members, along with participating in research and quality assessment initiatives. We focus on injury prevention by offering a number of special programs designed to keep community members safe.

These programs include teddy bear clinics, senior falls prevention programs, distracted driving education programs/events and courses that teach bleeding control. We also provide our clinical partners with education and training opportunities.

Trauma healing and rehabilitation

Our rehabilitation therapists help patients reach their full potential after experiencing trauma. We offer inpatient and outpatient physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Our inpatient rehabilitation center, Rehabilitation Institute of Northwest Florida, is the only acute care rehabilitation facility of its kind in the area. Here, we help patients restore function and regain mobility following a traumatic event.