First for Trauma Training at Forth Valley Royal Hospital

Emergency staff from across Scotland have been taking part in a trauma course at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, believed to be the first of its kind in the country. Fifteen participants from five Health Boards spent the day battling to ‘save lives’ in the Scottish Centre for Simulation and Clinical Human Factors, using hi-tech mannequins dressed to look like trauma victims complete with ‘blood-soaked’ tissues.

Consultants, surgeons, anaesthetists, emergency and ITU staff, nurses and paramedics quickly swung into action to deal with five different scenarios. One was a ‘patient’ discovered with gunshot wounds and severe facial injuries due to someone stamping on his head. He was found slumped in a doorway with his airway compromised.

The course was organised by NHS Forth Valley Emergency Medicine Consultants Dr Roger Alcock and Dr Laura McGregor.

Roger explained the background to the training: “When we surveyed trainees and non-training grade doctors they told us trauma was one of the areas they needed more exposure to.

“The training is also timely with the development of the Scottish Trauma Network and provides an opportunity to tailor a bespoke simulation course for inter-professional dialogue and training.”

After a hard day’s work Roger was very positive about the impact of the first course. He explained: “It’s been fantastic for both the Faculty and participants to learn from one another and ultimately improve trauma care for Scottish patients. What reassured me was that people felt supported and were able to learn together.”

The Scottish Trauma Network, which will also include the Scottish Ambulance Service and existing trauma services, aims to benefit about 6,000 of Scotland’s seriously injured patients each year.

It will connect and co-ordinate clinical teams across the country, giving patients, particularly those with major trauma, access to better care and rehabilitation support and ensure they get taken to the right place as quickly as possible.

For each trauma fatality, there are two survivors with serious or permanent disability that will have significant impact on quality of life.

Major trauma is the leading cause of death in under 40s in Scotland and it is thought that the new approach could save up to 40 more lives per year. There are plans to develop four major trauma centres in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh to treat the most seriously injured patients and these are due to be operational in the next few years.