File(s) under permanent embargo
Predicted impact on Victoria's ambulance services of a new major trauma system
journal contributionposted on 2001-12-01, 00:00 authored by Anna PeetersAnna Peeters, K Smith, P Cameron, J McNeil
BACKGROUND: In 1999, a new major trauma system was proposed for the state of Victoria, Australia. The guidelines for the new system were aimed at delivering major trauma cases to definitive trauma care in the least time possible. The aim of the present study was to analyse the potential effect of this system on Victoria's ambulance services. METHODS: The present study modelled the workload of major trauma cases in Victoria's ambulance service for one year pre- and post-introduction of the guidelines. Cases were analysed regarding whether their first hospital destination would change under the proposed guidelines, and, subsequently, whether they would require interhospital transport to a higher level trauma service. The impact on the ambulance services was modelled as annual changes in distances travelled due to predicted changes in hospital destinations. RESULTS: Analysis of the predicted changes indicated that, in general, Victoria's metropolitan and rural road ambulance crews would not be greatly affected. However, some metropolitan road crews may have to travel extra distances for up to 110 cases per year. The major impact was on air retrieval crews, where the annual number of interhospital transfers is predicted to increase from approximately 150 to 330. CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrated that most of the impact of a new trauma system on Victoria's ambulance services could be readily absorbed into the current workload. However, it also highlighted areas affected disproportionately within the ambulance services; in particular, air retrieval. Such studies are important to enable the effective implementation of new trauma systems.