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Information for the community, patients, and our workforce

Trauma service


The Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) is one of the two major Trauma Services designated to care for South Australia’s most severely injured patients.

We provide 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 no physical inpatient facilities. All outpatient and outreach services are provided by a patient’s home team.

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