From: Defence Media Centre
Sent: Thu 21/11/2013 1:46 PM

Afghanistan lessons improving trauma care for all Australians

Lessons learnt by Australian Defence Force (ADF) health specialists are helping to improve survival rates for all Australian trauma victims.

Defence’s Director General Health Capability, Commodore Elizabeth Rushbrook, today opened the annual Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Trauma Symposium in Melbourne, which explored ways to reduce the devastating effects of trauma within the community.

This year’s Symposium focused on the extremely high survival rate for casualties who reached a mid level health facility in Afghanistan, and examined ways that the lessons learnt could be applied to trauma centres in Australia and New Zealand.

“The stunning 98% survival rate for even the most critically ill patients arriving at a Role 2 health facility has been achieved with improvements in the way our military medical teams are doing business, rather than in expensive technological developments,” Commodore Rushbrook said.

“This rate exceeds what has been able to be achieved in continental United States or Australian level one trauma centres.”

ADF and international medical staff who have deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations over the past 10 years shared new knowledge and recent advances in Military trauma care with those working in trauma in Australia and New Zealand.

Ideas on incorporating the lessons learnt by our military surgeons, intensivists and other specialist health professionals into theAustralian civilian systems were also explored. “Reserve and permanent health professionals are a critical capability for the ADF,” Commodore Rushbrook said.

“Their time, expertise and commitment is invaluable and has contributed to the success of the health support mission to the multinational force in Afghanistan and other recent operations. Military medicine is at the forefront of advances in trauma care and survival rates.

“Today’s event was an ideal opportunity to demonstrate Defence’s commitment to our relationship with the RACS and the joint work we achieve providing trauma care to our deployed men and women, and the Australian community,” she said.

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