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More lives saved because of major trauma centres

2:38 am, 20th August 2018

Independent research into survival rates of patients in England has found an additional 1,656 lives have been saved since major trauma centres were established in 2012.

Before the 27 sites of specialist expertise were established, ambulances would take victims suffering even the most severe injuries to their nearest hospital.

There had been concerns in some communities about the distances patients would have to travel to reach one of the designated centres.

But figures compiled by the Trauma Audit and Research Network show there is now a 19% increase in survival rates of patients who reach hospital after a major trauma.

Professor Chris Moran, NHS England’s national clinical director for trauma care, said: “Patients suffering severe injury need to get to the right specialist centre staffed by experts, not simply the nearest hospital.

“Thanks to the skills of NHS staff, we are confident that we will continue to see further increases in survival rates for this group of patients.

“Major trauma centres deal with the victims of stabbings and acid attacks as well as car and motorbike accidents.

“We have all seen the terrible increase in knife crime in our cities, especially in London, and there is no doubt that the new trauma system has saved many lives as these patients receive blood transfusion and specialist surgery much quicker than before.”

At the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, consultant Adam Brooks told Sky News he is seeing a marked increase in the number of stabbing victims he treats.

“There will be someone with a serious stab wound and I’ll end up operating on someone with a serious stab wound most times I’m on call which is most weeks,” he said.

“Organisationally most days we have somebody in with a stab wound.”

Despite the challenging cases he sees he says patients outcomes are often better than expected thanks to the expertise of the teams he works with.

“We are frequently surprised by patients who have come through the most devastating injuries be that from violence or other forms of trauma which at points in their care we thought they would not survive,” he said.

One such victim is Stephen MacNish, currently an inpatient in the major trauma centre at the QMC.

He considers himself lucky to be alive after he was knocked off his bike three weeks ago.

A car ran over his chest, breaking all but one of his ribs.

He was rushed into surgery, where he had his spleen removed and spent a week in a coma.

He is now focused on getting home in time for his children’s 12th and 8th birthdays next month.

“The facilities here have meant that I’m now still here,” he told Sky News. “This has saved my life so I’ll be forever grateful to these guys.”