Prehospital trauma care systems
Injury is a major cause of premature death and disability worldwide. Most existing injury control strategies focus on primary prevention – that is, avoiding the occurrence of injuries or minimizing their severity – or on secondary prevention – providing adequate medical response to enhance treatment and thereby minimize harm following an injury. In many instances the prompt provision of emergency care and rapid movement of injured victims from the scene of injury to a health-care facility can save lives, reduce the incidence of short-term disability and dramatically improve long-term outcomes. Unfortunately, the capacity to provide this basic level of medical care does not exist in many parts of the world.
In 2000, a group of international experts attending a special meeting convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva agreed that there is a pressing need to strengthen the quality and availability of systems of prehospital trauma care throughout the world.To achieve this goal, they proposed a collaboration that would identify the core strategies, equipment, supplies and organizational structures needed to create effective and adaptable prehospital care systems for injured persons worldwide.
This document is the realization of this objective. It focuses on the most promising interventions and components of prehospital trauma care systems, particularly those that require minimal training and relatively little in the way of equipment or supplies.