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Trauma patients need multiple imaging technologies during ‘Golden Hour’

Trauma is the most common cause of death for all young people. In countries such as the UAE, where emergencies and accidents caused 32 deaths per 100,000 compared to the United Kingdom’s four deaths per 100,000, the correct use of modern radiology modalities for diagnosis and evaluation of trauma patients is imperative. The ‘Golden Hour’ after a patient experiences a traumatic injury is crucial and, emergency rooms such as the Rashid Hospital Trauma Center (RHTC) play a vital role in tackling all sorts of emergencies and disaster in Dubai and The Northern Emirates.

According to Dr Sayeed Iqbal and Dr Hossam Kotb, who are both Radiologists at the Rashid Hospital Trauma Center in Dubai, the most common causes of trauma in the UAE are road traffic accidents (RTIs), falls, suicide and penetrative injuries. The Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD) has collected statistical data of the common causes of deaths in Abu Dhabi. It shows that in 2009, 63% of deaths were caused by RTIs.

Dr Iqbal and Dr Kotb will give a presentation on the use of multiple imaging modalities in an Emergency and Trauma Center setting at the upcoming Imaging & Diagnostics Management Conference in Dubai. This topic will be discussed as part of a wider conference programme taking place during the 4th Hospital Build & Infrastructure Middle East Exhibition & Congress from 4-6 June 2012.

Dedicated to emergency and trauma care in the region, The Rashid Hospital Trauma Center provides a wide variety of services such as 24/7 emergency services for traumas for patients of all ages. This includes services for acute medical emergencies, acute surgical emergencies, acute psychiatric emergencies, acute cardiac emergencies and infectious diseases for adults, as well as disaster management for major events.

“The ‘Golden Hour’ is a brief window of time in which the lives of a majority of critically injured trauma patients can be saved, if definitive treatment is provided,” says Dr Iqbal. “The efficient use of modern imaging equipment can ensure that the correct diagnosis can be made within minutes of the patient arriving at the trauma centre. For example, with a Stat Scan Critical Imaging System, full body x-ray images can be completed in 13 seconds or less and the total examination time from beginning to end takes only 3-4 minutes. The biggest advantage of a Stat Scan machine is that is uses approximately 25% of the radiation dose of one conventional chest x-ray to create the full body image.”

Another imaging modality commonly used in a trauma centre is the Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (FAST) technique which is a rapid, bedside, ultrasound examination performed to identify intra-peritoneal haemorrhage or pericardial tamponade. The concept behind the FAST exam is that many life-threatening injuries can cause bleeding so the specific indications of FAST include    Penetrating Cardiac Trauma, Blunt Cardiac Trauma, Blunt Abdominal Trauma, Penetrating Abdominal Trauma, and Chest Trauma.

“At RHTC, we also use a PolyTrauma CT to assess our patients,” says Dr Iqbal. “This is a 12-min ‘whole body’ examination where the head, spine, thorax, abdomen and pelvis are assessed all in one go.

“The main point to remember is that trauma patients are high risk and in order to quickly and efficiently assess the extent of the damage to the body, we need intimate cooperation between the radiologist in the trauma room, and the surgeon in the CT-suite.”

At Hospital Build & Infrastructure Middle East 2012, the Imagine & Diagnostics Management Conference is one of the eight conferences running at the event. The other conferences cover topics such as architecture, healthcare management, mHealth, quality standards & accreditation, hospital design & infrastructure, surgery management, and Leaders in Healthcare. As investment in the region's healthcare infrastructure continues to rise, the 2012 event is set to be bigger than ever with more than 130 exhibitors covering 5,000sqm of exhibition floor space, an estimated 4,500 visitors, as well as more than 600 conference delegates.

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