Patient safety

Trauma care checklist

In collaboration with the Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability

Current work

A Trauma Care Checklist International Consultation was held in Rio de Janeiro on 29-30 October 2009 with 25 experts from 16 countries participating. All delegates were in agreement that a checklist to be used during the initial resuscitation and evaluation of trauma patients has the potential to significantly decrease morbidity for victims who live, and mortality for the over 2 million people whose death from injury could be prevented with improvements in trauma care.

The next steps will involve further tool development in the field with input from front-line practitioners. This will be followed by a formal pilot involving a number of the hospitals represented at the meeting to start in early Spring 2010.

The problem

Every year an estimated 5.8 million people die in the world from injury and many more suffer chronic disability. The complexity and acuity of trauma care in the emergency room makes timely and appropriate intervention difficult to organize.

Working towards a solution

Efficient and systematic management of trauma patients can save lives.

The trauma care checklist will be a simple, easy to use tool that has the potential to exponentially decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with injury around the world.

A trauma care checklist that includes components of injury assessment and initial management steps will function as a prompt for care and help improve information transmission to other providers after the patient leaves the emergency room. The trauma care checklist initiative will produce a checklist tool and implementation manual comprising basic and vital tasks to be completed during the intake of a trauma patient in the emergency room. Consistent with checklist principles, the trauma care checklist will be:

  • straightforward and concise
  • evidence-based
  • actionable
  • widely applicable
  • amenable to implementation at natural pause points in the clinical work flow
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