17 Mar 2010

New trauma patient system expected to save lives

9:40 am on 17 March 2010

A new approach in dealing with trauma patients launched in Hamilton is expected to save about 20 lives each year, and even more if it goes national.

Waikato, Lakes, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki and Tairawhiti District Health Boards are using the system to provide better co-ordination of essential care and rehabilitation for hospital patients.

Nearly 5000 trauma patients are admitted to the hospitals of these district health boards each year.

Surgeon Grant Christey, who heads the new regional trauma team, says the system is based on streamlining processes and providing a holistic approach to care.

He says a clinical trial suggests 21 lives will be saved each year in the Midland region, meaning operating the system nationally could save 80 to 100 people.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says the benefits are fantastic and a national system is being investigated.