'More trauma centres, specialists required in Oman'
February 27, 2018 | 9:15 PM
by Times news Service
Dr. Al Qadhi is Senior Consultant Trauma Surgeon and Head of Department of Surgery at SQUH, and one of the authors of trauma-related publication Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal (SQUMJ).

Muscat: There is a growing need for more trauma care units to handle emergencies in the Sultanate, according to experts.

“We have three trauma centres in Muscat –Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH), the Armed Forces Hospital, and Khoula Hospital. There are a few in other regions and one in the Governorate of Al Wusta,” Dr. Hani Al Qadhi said, adding: “There is a dire need for more trauma surgeons as well. There are just two, including myself, in the whole Sultanate.”

Dr. Al Qadhi, Senior Consultant Trauma Surgeon and Head of Department of Surgery at SQUH, and one of the authors of trauma-related publication Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal (SQUMJ), emphasised the need for trauma care units, as well as trained surgeons, while explaining trauma as an emotional response that needs as much attention as cancer and other deadly diseases.

According to his article in SQUMJ, 32 trauma care facilities have been identified in the Sultanate, of which 11 or 34.4 per cent were class I centres. Only four centres or 12.5 per cent were categorised as class V facilities. These were located in Muscat, Al-Batinah North, and Dhofar. Class IV and V were categorised as being the highest in terms of facilitating trauma cases, while class I was the lowest.

“The trauma centres should be well-equipped in terms of both medical devices and trained doctors to take care of serious patients,” Al Qadhi said.

He further explained that in some serious cases, it takes three to four hours to transport a patient from the road traffic injuries (RTI) hotspot to the nearest class IV or V facility.

“On trimodal death distribution, the number of deaths on arrival has definitely reduced over the years,” he said.

Death distribution

Trimodal death distribution shows three curves: death on arrival (death on spot), golden hour (death within an hour), and late death (within weeks), which occur during hospitalisation.

The trauma surgeon hoped for the installation of a National Trauma Registry section in the future, which would help collect all relevant information related to RTI.

“There is a huge trauma load in Oman. While conducting the research, my team and I had to collect data individually from the Royal Oman Police (ROP) and hospitals. It would be extremely convenient if an institution is established, which collects and records data related to RTI,” he said.

Al Qadhi further informed the Times of Oman that steps have been taken to improve the situation. Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), a programme by American College of Surgeons that started in 2009 and teaches doctors a systematic and concise approach to care for a trauma patient, has conducted nearly 27 courses till date. Also, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has made it mandatory for trauma surgeons to undergo the course, if they wish to deal with patients in trauma care in both public and private hospitals.

“The ATLS has definitely reduced the burden.

“The ROP, Ministry of Transportation, MoH and media, if combined together, however, can create a stronger and faster impact,” the surgeon said.

Al Qadhi also expressed his happiness that the new traffic law on child seats to protect young lives has finally come into existence.

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