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Trauma service


The Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Trauma Service provides emergency, trauma and critical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, treating approximately 1,800 trauma patients per year. This equates to about 70 per cent of the state’s major trauma cases.

As well as covering most of South Australia, the Trauma Service is the major trauma referral centre for Alice Springs and regularly acts as the major trauma referral centre for patients from the remainder of the Northern Territory, western Victoria (Mildura) and western New South Wales (Broken Hill).

The Trauma Service at the RAH operates as a 24/7 multidisciplinary team which works to provide high-level care to all trauma patients.

The service is staffed by specialists across Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care.

The RAH Trauma Service includes:

  • an onsite helipad with capacity for two helicopters
  • eight emergency resuscitation bays
  • major complex multi-trauma Emergency Department (ED) with up to 70 treatment spaces
  • state-of-the-art ICU with 60 bed capacity
  • a hyperbaric service
  • 10 emergency operating theatres (Technical Suite rooms)
  • South Australian adult burns unit.

The trauma team works closely with the Emergency Department, managing the response to trauma patients in the ED and follow-up care for admitted patients as required.

The Trauma Service takes carriage of the immediate care of all Level 1 and 2 trauma patients who present to the ED, however the patients are admitted under a ‘home team’ that is relevant to their condition.

The Trauma Service has a robust, multi-disciplinary clinical governance and audit system in place. Every trauma patient is reviewed on weekly basis as well as a weekly longitudinal case presentation takes place where one case is discussed in detail. At these sessions, there is regular attendance by Emergency Department, Radiology, Anaesthesia, Intensive Care, Trauma Surgery, Allied Health, MedSTAR (Retrieval Service), SAAS (South Australian Ambulance Service), and surgical sub-speciality staff. On occasions, staff from the other LHN’s also attend.

The Trauma Service has no physical inpatient facilities. All outpatient and outreach services are provided by a patient’s home team.

Staff information, service snapshot, student electives and useful links

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