Gutsy trauma course at Forth Valley Royal

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Mannequins swathed in “blood-soaked” tissues are an early clue that Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s trauma course is a bit different from the usual variety.

Reckoned the first of its kind in the country, it recently involved 15 health service professionals from five health boards battling to “save lives” in the Scottish Centre for Simulation and Clinical Human Factors.

It’s seen as a ground-breaking approach that will now be taken up nationally .

One scenario featured a “patient” supposedly discovered with gunshot wounds and severe facial injuries due to someone stamping on his head.

He was “found” slumped in a doorway with his airway compromised.

The course was organised by NHS Forth Valley Emergency Medicine Consultants Dr Roger Alcock and Dr Laura McGregor.

Dr Alcock said: “It’s been fantastic for both the faculty and participants to learn from one another and ultimately improve trauma care for Scottish patients.

“What reassured me was that people felt supported and were able to learn together.”

The new Scottish Trauma Network, which will also include the Scottish Ambulance Service and existing trauma services, aims to benefit about 6,000 of Scotland’s seriously injured patients each year.

The scheme seeks to connect and co-ordinate clinical teams across the country, ensuring casualties are taken to the right place as quickly as possible.

NHS Forth Valley says that for each trauma fatality, there are two survivors with serious or permanent disability that will have significant impact on quality of life.

Major trauma is said to be the leading cause of death in under 40s in Scotland and it’s hoped the new approach could save up to 40 more lives per year.

There are plans to open four major trauma centres over the next few years in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh to treat Scotland’s most seriously injured patients.