TRAUMA CARE AND THE NEED OF “THE GOLDEN HOUR”

Article written by :somnath

Dr Somnath De
MS
Clinical Director, Dept of Orthopaedics and Traumatology
Peerless Hospital

An emergency medical facility even a few years ago in the country, trauma care has come a long way in the last decade. With the development of this certain section of the modern day medical science, disasters on the streets of our surroundings as well as self – propagated attempts to harm one’s self have found its way towards the rock bottom. Due to the constant recommendations and guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), trauma treatment services have come into the light in rural India too, much like what it has done in the cities.

With the inception of the modern day technological developments, traumas, both high and low – velocity ones, had taken accidents to a particular red alerted level. I used to spend most of my time in the operation theatre repairing polytrauma cases. However the number of road accidents are reducing, the reason of this may be the ‘safe drive, save life initiative.’

IHIF research (2011) has shown that police, often the first responders in a road traffic accident, are not trained in the basic first aid and have no access to basic first aid equipments. But there is a necessity of proper training of the traffic police, who tend to be the quick reaction authority and also the first hand care giver of the affected person due to an accident. In a recent statistic published by the Indian Head Injury Foundation (UK), the organization revealed that 95% of head injury victims in India do not receive optimal care during the “Golden Hour”. We at Peerless Hospital are currently running a training program to meet the challenges after a road traffic accident. The program focuses on how to handle an injured person, how to take care of the airways and how to shift the person to an ambulance or a car.

The aftermath of a trauma injury, especially after road accidents tends to put a smokescreen in front of those affected in terms of treatment. Improvement in emergency care in India depends on the establishment of functioning trauma care systems. IHIF has taken many steps to improve Primary Trauma Care by training the first responders, doctors and nurses in Primary Trauma Care to improve post accident emergency medical care. To deal with such type of trauma cases a multidisciplinary approach is very important. Hence the patient needs to be at a hospital with the necessary surgeons as relatively small nursing homes lack the infrastructure needed for the treatment.

Contemplating the trauma care system in India and saving many lives, it should be once again highlighted that the establishment of hospitals with heavy financial burden should not be the goal of policymakers. However, improving the current hospital infrastructure to treat severely injured patients should be undertaken. Training of personnel in adult care and pre-hospital services should be a priority in the country. Proper organization and administration of trauma services along with legislative back up will go a long way in strengthening India’s essential trauma care services.

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