Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has made significant advances in caring for patients who sustain traumatic injuries in Qatar. By establishing a specialist Trauma Center in 2007, HMC has achieved a 50 percent reduction in the deaths of patients admitted to the hospital with serious traumatic injury in the five years since then.
Qatar is one of the first countries outside the United States to establish a complete specialist trauma system to address the increasing numbers of severely injured people. According to quality indicators, the length of stay in the hospital for trauma patients also decreased from an average of 12 days in 2007 to eight days in 2011.
Trauma is a major cause of death and disability in Qatar. A World Health Organization report in 2011 stated that the country has one of the highest road traffic death rates in the region at 19 deaths per 100,000 population; falls, mostly occurring on construction worksites, were cited as the second most common cause of death and permanent disability.
Based at Hamad General Hospital, the Trauma Center receives and evaluates more than 5,300 patients each year, of which approximately 3,000 are admitted to the hospital for care. The center has developed various protocols, with each trauma patient being cared for by a dedicated multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals who collaborate closely to provide the best possible care.
Earlier this year the Trauma Center earned recognition in the Arab Health Awards and the World Health Organization for its success in improving care for the injured in Qatar.
“Having a trauma system elevates the care of patients in every service in the hospital, not just for trauma. Published evidence shows that hospitals with a Level 1 trauma center have lower morbidity and mortality across the board in their services and provide better care for their patients,” said Dr Hassan Al Thani, Head of HMC’s Trauma Center.
Dr Al Thani explained, “The Trauma Program inQataris one of the best – if not the best trauma program – in theMiddle Eastbecause it is structured, integrated and functions on the basis of collaboration. Trauma care is a real continuum process that does not stop until the patient is returned fully functional back to their place in society and many professionals contribute to this.”
HMC is working towards verification by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 trauma center with the highest international standards. Dr Rifat Latifi, Professor of Surgery at the University of Arizona in the USA came to HMC in 2010 to work under Dr Al Thani, as Medical Director of Trauma Services and to guide HMC through the verification process.
Commenting on the Trauma Center initiative, Dr Latifi said, “Our vision is to have a State-wide trauma service, with a well-distributed infrastructure of acute care hospitals and other facilities all working together in a system that will become a model across the Middle East and beyond. We will also build human capacity and expertise through our trauma and critical care fellowship program that will enable us to train enough trauma surgeons to actually export from Qatar.”
Dr Latifi pointed out that the Trauma Center was not only there to treat victims of trauma but also to focus on preventing deaths in Qatar through education and outreach programs with young people, parents and the construction industry.
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