The introduction of trauma teams has improved patient outcome independently. The aim of establishing a trauma team is to ensure the early mobilization and involvement of more experienced medical staff and thereby to improve patient outcome. The team approach allows for distribution of the several tasks in assessment and resuscitation of the patient in a 'horizontal approach', which may lead to a reduction in time from injury to critical interventions and thus have a direct bearing on the patient's ultimate outcome. A trauma team leader or supervisor, who coordinates the resuscitation and ensures adherence to guidelines, should lead the trauma team. There is a major national and international variety in trauma team composition, however crucial are a surgeon, an Emergency Medicine physician or both and anaesthetist. Advanced Trauma Life Support training, simulation-based training, and video review have all improved patient outcome and trauma team performance. Developments in the radiology, such as the use of computed tomography scanning in the emergency room and the endovascular treatment of bleeding foci, have changed treatment algorithms in selected patients. These developments and new insights in shock management may have a future impact on patient management and trauma team composition.
Keywords: patient care team; patient outcome assessment; resuscitation; task performance and analysis; wounds and injuries.
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