TULSA, Okla - When Tulane football player Devon Walker was hurt in Saturday's game against the University of Tulsa, he was rushed to St. Francis Hospital, a level two trauma center.
With an injury that serious, some wonder whether Walker would have been better served at a level one trauma center.
The short answer is probably no.
Lisa Hollett is Trauma Program Manager at St. John Medical Center tells us, "A level two center has the same resources, all the same tools as a level one trauma center. We have neurosurgeons, we have orthopedic surgeons, they're here on staff. We have trauma surgeons available at all times. We function the same as a level one center we just don't tend to do as much research," Hollett said.
She added most level one centers are affiliated with academic institutions.
St. John Medical Center is one of two level two trauma centers in Tulsa.
St. Francis Hospital is the other.
St. John received its level two ranking from the American College of Surgeons, while St. Francis received its level two designation at the state level.
Oklahoma's lone level one trauma unit is at the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
Each year, as many as 2,500 Oklahomans die from trauma injuries.
Trauma is the leading cause of death for Oklahomans between the ages of one and 44 years.