Injury has become one of the major cause of death and disability. Recently, the European section of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified trauma as the major health care challenge of our century. Worldwide, trauma claims more productive life years than any other disease. The WHO estimates that the mortality of major trauma in Europe could be decreased up to 30% by improving the chain of care for major trauma patients and providing high-quality trauma care.

It is well known that almost 90% of fatalities occur within the week after major trauma, but more alarming is the fact that many preventable causes of death occur within the first few hours. Therefore, high-quality trauma care represents a major challenge for all medical professionals.

Today, the most common identified problems during trauma victim management are:

  • underestimation of the seriousness of injuries
  • misinterpretation of performed investigations
  • technical failures
  • lack of experience of the trauma team

Trauma patient management, on the field, as well as in the resuscitation room, is a variable set of processes running simultaneously. These need to be adapted to the trauma patient's condition, which can change anytime, and well organised to manage trauma patient effectively and safely.

Trauma 'chain of survival' refers to a series of actions that, when put into motion, reduce the mortality associated with trauma. Like any chain, the trauma 'chain of survival', commencing at the scene of injury all the way through to the place of definitive treatment, is only as strong as its weakest link. Well-organised and effective multi-specialty hospital team, responsible for the initial assessment and management of the trauma patient, represents the crucial link in the trauma 'chain of survival'.

The main attributes of a trauma team are:

  • competent team members
  • good leadership
  • good cooperation between the team members

In working towards decreasing the burden of death and disability from injury, teaching and training are necessary to understand trauma patient management processes and organization of each trauma team member within the trauma team.

ETC goal is to teach a simplified and standardised approach to trauma patient management. ETC programme was developed to improve outcome after major trauma by offering state of the art trauma training, with a focus on the multi-specialty, multi-professional team approach, and on developing non-technical skills as a team-leader and a team-member.

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