An emergency room is specially staffed and equipped to handle most medical emergencies. This includes very serious conditions, like a heart attack, to less immediate ones, like a sprained wrist. Trauma centers are part of the emergency room system, and focus specifically on life-threatening medical situations. Serious burns, head injuries and severe car accidents are all examples of incidents that could require trauma center treatment. The decision about whether a medical issue should be treated in the ER or in a trauma center is made by a medical provider.