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Trauma system in the pipeline in Abu Dhabi

Olivia Olarte
Filed on October 26, 2011

ABU DHABI - Efforts are currently underway to develop a trauma system in the emirate, which would help reduce the number of deaths resulting from physical injuries.

Speaking on Monday at a trauma, accident and emergency conference in the Capital, Dr Saleh Fares, Deputy Head of the Emergency Department at Zayed Military Hospital, said the country currently lacks an “integrated system” that would provide an organised and coordinated patient care —from injury to rehabilitation.

For this reason, volunteers from the Zayed Military Hospital (represented by Dr Fares) together with the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD), Abu Dhabi Police through their emergency medical services, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), UAE University (UAEU), private hospitals and the National Ambulance Company (NAC), has formed a committee for this purpose.

Dr Fares, who chairs the Abu Dhabi Trauma System Initiative, said the committee, which was formed in October last year is proposing to have two to three Level 1 (major) trauma centres in the emirate and one trauma centre in each region – Abu Dhabi, Eastern and the Western regions. He did not disclose the hospitals being considered for this purpose.

High on their agenda for the first phase was looking at the pre-hospital trauma care and inter-hospital transfer, rehabilitation and establishing a trauma registry. He said the committee is working based on an international framework and from the system already established by Al Rahba Hospital, which received Level 2 accreditation from the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

However, developing a trauma system would take about 10 years to implement and “connect them all together”, said Dr Fares. But to start with, the HAAD has allocated Dh200,000 a year for five years as donation into the programme which involve community outreach initiatives. The HAAD has also pledged to purchase eight softwares that comply with the ACS for the Trauma Registry which will be installed at eight select hospitals for the pilot phase.

Dr Masoud Bashir, Head of Surgery at Al Rahba Hospital, said last year that the hospital received 70,737 emergency visits, 7,128 of which were trauma patients. Of these, 782 were admitted at the hospital.

“Trauma is responsible for 18 per cent of all deaths in the UAE,” said Karim Brohi, Professor of Trauma Sciences, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London in the UK.

Citing the London experience, he told the Abu Dhabi Medical Congress that having an “organised trauma system” will result in three times higher survival rate.

According to Fikri Abu Zidan, Head of Trauma Group at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the UAEU, the country has the highest mortality rate of road traffic accidents in the GCC countries.

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