Improving the care of patients with major trauma in the accident and emergency department

Fisher, R.B.; Dearden, C.H.

Bmj 300(6739): 1560-1563

1990


ISSN/ISBN: 0959-8138
PMID: 2372624
Document Number: 366030
To determine whether improvement in the care of victims of major trauma could be made by using the revised trauma score as a triage tool to help junior accident and emergency doctors rapidly identify seriously injured patients and thereby call a senior accident and emergency specialist to supervise their resuscitation. Comparison of results of audit of management of all seriously injured patients before and after these measures were introduced. Accident and emergency department in an urban hospital. All seriously injured patients (injury severity score greater than 15) admitted to the department six months before and one year after introduction of the measures. Management errors were reduced from 58% (21/36) to 30% (16/54) (p less than 0.01). Correct treatment rather than improvement in diagnosis or investigation accounted for almost all the improvement. The management of seriously injured patients in the accident and emergency department can be improved by introducing two simple measures: using the revised trauma score as a triage tool to help junior doctors in the accident and emergency department rapidly identify seriously injured patients, and calling a senior accident and emergency specialist to supervise the resuscitation of all seriously injured patients. Care of patients in accident and emergency departments can be improved considerably at no additional expense by introducing two simple measures.

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