Trauma care 'not good'21st November 2007
An enquiry has found that over 50% of trauma patients are not given good enough standards of care.
The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) examined the treatment of 795 patients, many of whom had head injuries from accidents.
It discovered that medical staff in 200 hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland failed to understand the "severity" of the accident and did not act with "urgency".
However, the enquiry said that in hospitals dealing with over 20 trauma cases a week treatment was "good".
NCEPOD stated that issues experienced by around 60% of patients seen in 200 hospitals were linked to the inexperience of medical staff.
They found that patients were often not subjected to important examinations or assessments, for example CT scans.
The enquiry said that many hospitals often only dealt with one trauma patient per week and as a consequence, staff did not have or develop the required skills.
In addition, it found that around 800 trauma patients every year had to be sent to other hospitals, due to specialist facilities not being available at the original hospital.
The study also said ambulance teams did not always unblock patients' airways and inform hospitals that a patient was arriving.
Report author Dr George Findlay said: "The number of patients seen has a direct bearing on the experience and ability of clinicians to manage challenging cases".
He said that not all hospitals were able "to have a trauma team on call with the necessary experience, organisation and support structures. We need to look at how we can organise trauma care on a regional basis".
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Title: Trauma care 'not good'
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 4837
Date Added: 21st Nov 2007