Trauma care systems in Saudi Arabia: an agenda for action

Ann Saudi Med. 2010 Jan-Feb;30(1):50-8. doi: 10.4103/0256-4947.59374.


Saudi Arabia is undergoing a rapid population growth that along with improved socioeconomics has led many individuals to own a car or even a number of cars per family, resulting in a greater number of vehicles on the roads. The reduced focus on good public transportation systems and the dependence on cars for transportation have created a diversity of drivers who are unfamiliar with the local driving rules and lack the basic skills for safe driving. This is in addition to some young drivers who frequently violate traffic laws and tend to speed most of the time. This unplanned expansion in road traffic has resulted in more car accidents, injuries, disabilities, and deaths. Accompanying that is an increased socioeconomic burden, depletion of human resources, emotional and psychological stress on families, and a strain on healthcare facilities. If this continues without prompt intervention, it will lead to increased insurance premiums and may become unmanageable. To minimize this impact, a national or regional multidisciplinary trauma system has to be developed and implemented. A trauma system is a preplanned, comprehensive, and coordinated regional injury response network that includes all facilities with the capability to care for the injured. Essential components of the system include trauma prevention, prehospital care, hospital care, rehabilitation, system administration, trauma care education and training, trauma care evaluation and quality improvement, along with the participation of society. Research has documented a significant decrease in morbidity and mortality from trauma after the implementation of such systems, depending on their efficiency. The purpose of this review is to discuss the problem of road traffic accidents in this country and address the trauma care system as an effective solution.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic* / economics
  • Accidents, Traffic* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Accidents, Traffic* / statistics & numerical data
  • Ambulances / statistics & numerical data
  • Automobiles / statistics & numerical data
  • Emergency Medical Services / standards
  • Emergency Medical Technicians / education
  • Emergency Medical Technicians / standards
  • Emergency Medical Technicians / statistics & numerical data
  • Emergency Medicine / education
  • Emergency Medicine / standards*
  • Humans
  • Public Health / trends
  • Research / economics
  • Research / standards
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Trauma Centers / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Trauma Centers / organization & administration*
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*