An observational study evaluating the demand of major trauma on different surgical specialities in a UK Major Trauma Centre
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Major Trauma Centres (MTCs) should ideally have all key surgical specialities on site. This may not always be the case since trauma is only one factor influencing speciality location. The implications of this can only be understood when the demands on specific specialities are established and this is not well documented. We investigated surgical speciality demand by quantifying the frequency and urgency of surgical trauma interventions.
Patients and methods
Data on adult trauma admissions for a UK MTC were retrieved from the UK Trauma Audit and Research Network for a 2-year period and analysed to establish the frequency and urgency of surgical interventions.
Of 1285 trauma patients with an ISS > 15 presenting in the study year period 713 (55.5%) required surgery. Neurosurgical (59.9%) and orthopaedic (55.1%) operations were most frequent. Cardiothoracic, general surgery, plastic surgery and maxillofacial operations were required infrequently. General surgery was commonly needed urgently, 45% within 4 h of MTC arrival. Urgency was also common in interventional radiology and vascular surgery. Cardiothoracic interventions were mainly urgent interventions (thoracotomy 1/3) and less urgent (rib fixation 2/3).
Neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery are key on-site trauma specialities and required frequently. General surgery, interventional radiology and cardiothoracic interventions are required less frequently but often urgently. This confirms a need for MTC on-site capability and possibly training to maintain competency in occasional trauma operators, particularly in general surgery. Maxillofacial surgery, ENT and urology are required neither frequently nor urgently and on-site presence may be less critical.
Demand for specific surgical specialities was reported in a cohort of UK trauma patients. This confirmed the need for rapid on-site capability in key specialities and highlights possible training requirements for occasional trauma operators in specialities with low frequency but high urgency.
KeywordsTrauma Major Trauma Centre Surgery UK Quality improvement Emergency surgery
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
None of the authors have any conflicts of interest.
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