The introduction of a Major Trauma Response Car, operating out of Royal Cornwall Hospital, means that patients suffering serious injury, for example at a road traffic accident, may no longer need to come via Royal Cornwall Hospital on their way to receive care at one of the region’s major trauma centres.
Funding for the response car and equipment came from the RCHT Charity General Fund (grant of £50,000) and the HELP appeal of the County Air Ambulance Trust (grant of £50,000).
Dan Bawden, one of the team of Major Trauma and Transfer Consultants at RCHT, explains the benefits of the new resource,
“The response car has allowed our team of consultants to attend traumas and provide immediate care to stabilise patients with serious injuries. Our team can, for example, anaesthetise a patient at the scene and work alongside the Air Ambulance and ambulance crews to stabilise a patient and accompany them on their transfer to Plymouth or Bristol if required.”
“The ability to start this specialist care at the scene, removes the need for them to come to Royal Cornwall Hospital which of course reduces delay and unnecessary use of resources at the County’s acute hospital. Most importantly it aims to provide a better outcome for the patient,” Dan adds.
Funding from RCHT Charity supplied the entire medical kit for the vehicle which includes a suction unit, patient monitor, multiple equipment bags and a ventilator, which are not routinely carried by ambulance crews.
The team are on call 24 hours a day and have become a valued addition to the emergency response services in Cornwall. Since inception, the team have responded to a number of incidents, many of which have seen patients anaesthetised prior to their arrival at hospital.