S. A. Deane*, P. L. Gaudry, I. Pearson, D. G. Ledwidge, C. Read

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


A team approach to the initial assessment, investigation and management of potentially seriously injured patients has been instituted. Team members are alerted through an emergency paging system which is activated when a patient fulfils one of a predetermined list of criteria relating to the injury incident, physiological status of the patients and anatomic injuries. Medical members of the team include surgical, intensive care, anaesthetic, and accident and emergency staff. The surgical representative acts as team coordinator. Aspects of the function of the trauma team system were assessed over 4 months during which time 721 injured patients were admitted, 240 patients satisfied the trauma team criteria, and the team was called 152 times. The observed ‘false alarm’ rate was 38% but the true false alarm rate would have been 46%. Injuries sustained by some patients, who satisfied the criteria but who were not evaluated by the team, were of sufficient severity to justify a greater compliance with the system than was observed at this early stage after its implementation. Although a false alarm rate of 46% is higher than desirable, the number of calls per day would still only average 2 in a hospital with a high trauma patient load. The checklist criteria were highly sensitive (97%) in identifying those patients who should have been evaluated by the trauma team. Although hospitals differ in workload and staffing, this trauma team model is recommended for more widespread use and for further evaluation and modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-378
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • injury severity
  • trauma
  • trauma team
  • trauma triage
  • triage checklist
  • triage criteria.


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