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Allied Health and Trauma Care

Celso et al. 2006).MacKenzie et al. 2008 & Celso et al. 2006).centres employ a multitude of patient assessment techniques, management systems, human resources and infrastructure; each contributing to improving trauma patient care. With reducing mortality rates, the measurement of trauma centre success has shifted to non-fatal measures such as morbidity and improvement in functional outcomes (MacKenzie et al. 2008). It is estimated that for every trauma fatality, there are between three and four survivors who are permanently impaired (Halcomb et al. 2005) and so therapies that selectively improve the quality of life in survivors could be as valuable as therapies that decrease mortality.  To date, there is no process measure that correlates with reducing disability.


centres that perform large numbers of procedures versus centres that perform smaller numbers.Markovchick & Moore 2007).Cannada & Guerrero-Bejarano identified that Physiotherapy availability within 24 hours of surgery was an important factor in decreasing length of stay in isolated femur fractures after trauma.  Furthermore, Dutton et al (2003) demonstrated that daily multi-disciplinary “discharge rounds” including Allied Health team members (physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy) provided a forum for clear communication and streamlined care, allowed a 36% increase in patient volume and 15% decrease in length of stay.


sequale of trauma injuries, the dedication of specialist trauma clinicians in allied health disciplines should be an important factor for trauma centres to consider.


organisations to maintain capacity by reducing length of stay, while still improving patient outcomes and ensuring consistency of care.ATS can assist in this vision, providing an important platform for Allied Health clinicians of all disciplines to work towards a strong voice and presence in trauma patient care and management.



American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma 2006, Resources for optimal care of the injured patient, American College of Surgeons, Chicago.


Celso, B, Tepas, J, Langland-Orban, B, Pracht, E, Papa, L, Lottenberg, L & Flint, L 2006, ‘A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing outcome of severely injured patients treated in trauma centres following the establishment of trauma systems’, Journal of Trauma, vol. 60, pp. 371 – 378.


Scalea, TM 2003, ‘Daily multidisciplinary rounds shorten length of stay for trauma patients’, J Trauma, vol. 55, p. 913 – 919.


Halcomb, E, Daly, J, Elliott, D & Griffiths, R 2005, ‘Life beyond severe traumatic injury: an integrative review of the literature’, Australian Critical Care, vol. 18, pp. 17 – 24.


MacKenzie, EJ, Rivara, FP, Jurkovich, GJ, Nathens, AB, Egleston, BL, Salkever, DS, Frey, KP & Scharfstein, DO 2008, ‘The impact of trauma-center care on functional outcomes following major lower limb trauma’, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (America), vol. 90, pp. 101 – 109.


Markovchick, VJ & Moore, EE 2007, ‘Optimal trauma outcome: trauma system design and the trauma team’, Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America, vol. 25, pp. 643 – 654.


Cannada, LK & Guerrero-Bejarano, M 2007, ‘Factors affecting length of stay after isolated femoral shaft fractures’, J Trauma, vol 62, p. 697 – 700.



Related Websites

This section contains links to other websites relevant to trauma management. If you would like to suggest a new link, please email us at


Ambulance Service of NSW

Auckland Trauma Service


Australasian College of Emergency Medicine

Australasian College of Road Safety

Australasian New Car Assessment Program

Critital Care Nurses

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

Australian Resuscitation Council Online

Australian Safety and Compensation Council

Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

Clinical Information Access Program

College of Emergency Nursing Australasia

Flinders Research Centre for Injury Studies



Intensive Care Coordination & Monitoring Group

John Hunter Hospital Trauma Service

Kidsafe NSW

Liverpool Trauma Website


National Centre for Classification in Health

National Health and Medical Research Council

National Health Data Dictionary

National Institute of Clinical Studies

National Trauma Research Institute

New Zealand Guidelines Group

NRMA Careflight

Royal Adelaide Hospital Trauma Service



Lifetime Care & Support Scheme

Royal Rehabilitation Centre Sydney

Physiotherapy Exercise for people with spinal cord injuries and other neurological conditions

BIRP - Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program


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