Major Trauma Centres increasing chances of survival for most seriously-injured patients

Monday, 20 August 2018

Major Trauma Centres like Southmead Hospital are giving seriously-injured patients a better chance of survival, according to a new report published today.

Since their introduction in 2012, 1,600 extra patients have survived nationally thanks to Major Trauma Centres with survival rates at Southmead Hospital among the highest in the country.

As the adult Major Trauma Centre for the Severn Major Trauma Network, the most seriously-injured patients from the local area, Gloucestershire, Somerset and parts of Wiltshire are brought to Southmead Hospital.

Often patients are brought in by ambulance or helicopter bypassing other hospitals to be treated by a consultant led specialist team made up of a variety of healthcare professionals

Last year 1,200 patients were treated at Southmead Hospital’s Major Trauma Centre. One of those patients was Lucy Killingbeck who a year ago today (20 August) was brought in after a horse had a stroke and landed on her causing a number of injuries including a pelvic fracture, ruptured bladder and lower back fractures.

“The incident happened about 8.45am, I arrived by ambulance and was impressed with how quickly I was processed and diagnosed,” Lucy said.

“The care I received from the staff was fabulous and I have them thank for saving my life.

“Everyone was so kind, I was struggling to keep food down and the catering staff bent over backwards to find me something.

Lucy, who judges horses and has ridden around the world professionally, added: “A year ago today I was led in a hospital bed unsure what the future would hold for me. I was told it was likely I would never ride again but thanks to the treatment I received I’m hoping to compete again in a couple of weeks.”

Dr Ben Walton, Clinical Director of the Major Trauma Centre at Southmead Hospital, said:
“We are delighted with the latest national survival figures and see it as a ringing endorsement of all of the hard work that is put in by so many people, not only in Southmead Hospital but in the wider Severn major trauma network.

“This is proof that what we have done so far is fantastic but we realise there is a lot more work to do to maintain our position as one of the best performing major trauma centres in the country.”

Major Trauma Centres treat patients with a variety of injuries 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Working as a part of a network of hospitals they ensure the best quality of care for patients with complex and often multiple injuries. The most common admissions to Southmead are from patients who have fallen and those who have been in a road traffic accident.

Patients will often stay at the Major Trauma Centre for their initial specialist care and rehabilitation before transferring back to their local hospital or a specialist unit to continue their recovery. During this time they are supported by a small team of Major Trauma Practitioners who act as key points of support and contact during and after their stay.

With an average age of 65 our Major Trauma has a higher proportion of elderly patients in comparison to centres in London and the Network is developing pathways and prevention initiatives designed specifically to support trauma in older people.