Reducing time to urgent surgery by transporting resources to the trauma patient

Morgan P. McMonagle, Arthas Flabouris*, Michael J. A. Parr, Michael Sugrue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Time to definitive trauma care directly influences patient survival. Patient transport (retrieval) services are essential for the transportation of remotely located trauma patients to a major trauma centre. Trauma surgical expertise can potentially be combined with the usual retrieval response (surgically supported response) and delivered to the patient before patient transportation. We identified the frequency and circumstances of such surgically supported retrievals. Methods: Retrospective review of trauma patients transported by the NRMA CareFlight, New South Wales Medical Retrieval Service, Australia, from 1999 to 2003, identifying patients who had a surgically supported retrieval response and an urgent surgical procedure carried out before patient transportation to an major trauma centre. Results: Seven hundred and forty-nine trauma interhospital patient transfers were identified of which 511 (68%) were categorized as urgent and 64% of which were rural based. Three (0.4%) patients had a surgically supported retrieval response and had an urgent surgical procedure carried out before patient transportation. All patients benefited from that early surgical intervention. Conclusion: A surgically supported retrieval response allows for the more timely delivery of urgent surgical care. Patients can potentially benefit from such a response. There are, however, important operational considerations in providing a surgically supported retrieval response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-246
Number of pages6
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes



  • Definitive surgical care
  • Emergency surgery
  • Major trauma centre
  • Retrieval service
  • Retrieval team
  • Surgically supported retrieval response

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