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The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) has been working collaboratively with pre-hospital trauma teams across the country to implement the STN.  The network is designed to deliver consistent high quality and well governed critical care to the most seriously injured patients.

It is estimated that around 40 lives will be saved each year in Scotland, as well as improved care and outcomes for 2000 major trauma patients and 4000 seriously injured patients.  The STN will connect and co-ordinate clinical teams across the country, giving patients, particularly those with major trauma, access to better care and rehabilitation support and ensure they get taken to the right place as quickly as possible.

One of the key areas of focus for SAS is pre-hospital care, ensuring our emergency services can get to any trauma patient quickly and have more advanced skills, training and support to better help patients at the scene and on their way to the most appropriate hospital.

Below showcases the key changes and improvements SAS have made in the treatment of trauma care:

The SAS Trauma Desk based in our Glasgow Ambulance Control Centre has been operational 24/7 since October 2017. Designed to support the coordination of the service’s response to trauma, the desk manages the response to patients and their care across the network and is an essential liaison for Scotland’s Major Trauma Centres (MTCs).

£175,000 has been invested in major trauma equipment across the service’s emergency vehicle fleet.

Implementation of revised trauma kits into every operational vehicle contains the latest fracture splints and trauma haemorrhage control equipment, tourniquets, decompression needles, chest seals and pelvic binders. This vital equipment is already helping crews save more lives.

The investment into additional trauma equipment and training for all our frontline resources recognises that the initial responding paramedic crew will still carry out many of the most important early interventions for trauma patients.

Early appropriate deployment of one of our pre-hospital trauma teams through appropriate tasking in our Ambulance Control centres and Trauma desk.

We are also piloting the National Trauma Triage Tool.  This tool has been designed to support crews in the early identification of trauma patients and to access trauma treatment pathways within the STN.  Currently major trauma patients are transferred to the nearest emergency centre, but through the use of the triage tool, patients (in future) may be transferred directly to a MTC to ensure they receive the specialist care they need as soon as possible.  The triage tool decision making process will be supported by the 24/7 Trauma Desk.

In addition, SAS is piloting the use of advanced paramedics who will augment the treatment already available through ambulance crews. This pilot will be rolled out across the four regional MTCs in the next three years.

A key element to the success of the trauma network, when live, is the effective identification and triage of major trauma patients in the pre-hospital environment.

The introduction of these improvements across SAS, supported by the STN, will help us save more lives and provide critical patients with the specialist care they need, where and when they need it.

Delivering the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

National Headquarters

Gyle Square
1 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9EB

Scotland is a vast and varied country with huge demographical and geographical challenges. One of SAS’s biggest focusses is developing and implementing a unique approach and bespoke pathways to offer our patients the best trauma care possible.

From urban communities to remote wilderness, read more about accessing trauma care across Scotland.

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