IAEM Launches its Position Paper on the Development of an Integrated Trauma System for Ireland
Trauma remains the greatest killer of our citizens in the first 4 decades of life and is also a major killer of the older members of our society. For every death, at least a further 3 patients suffer severe disability which they and their families may have to endure for decades. Although medical advances have improved care in recent years, there is significant room for improvement in how trauma care is delivered across the country. Our current trauma delivery model is no longer fit-for-purpose and needs to be changed.
In order to achieve outcomes comparable with the best performing systems in the world, there is a need for major reorganisation of how trauma care in Ireland is delivered and to ensure it is delivered as part of a system rather than in the fragmented way it is currently organised. This involves changes to pre-hospital care, initial hospital reception and to how and where complex trauma care is delivered.
In order to stimulate discussion and debate, the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine has today published its position paper on the Development of an Integrated Trauma System for Ireland, which provides a road map for the development of a fit-for-purpose inclusive trauma system for the country. This applies a best practice model to Ireland, one that would enable trauma care in Ireland to achieve outcomes comparable to the best in the world. To achieve this requires political direction and management focus so that over the next few years Ireland develops an integrated trauma system of which we all can be truly proud. Those countries (the USA, Australia and the UK) that have made the bold decision to change their systems to the type we are proposing have been rewarded with fewer deaths and better patient outcomes as a result.
We recognise that important decisions will need to be made in order to achieve improvement in patient outcomes. The experience in the UK and elsewhere is showing that making the right decisions is in the best interests of the population as a whole.