Major Trauma: Assessment and Initial Management

London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK); 2016 Feb.


This guideline provides guidance on the assessment and management of major trauma, including resuscitation following major blood loss associated with trauma. For the purposes of this guideline, major trauma is defined as an injury or a combination of injuries that are life-threatening and could be life changing because it may result in long-term disability. This guideline covers both the pre-hospital and immediate hospital care of major trauma patients but does not include any management after definitive lifesaving intervention. It has been developed for health practitioners and professionals, patients and carers and commissioners of health services.

The key clinical areas are:

  1. Airway management

  2. Pre-hospital management of chest trauma

  3. Hospital management of chest trauma

  4. Management of haemorrhage

  5. Management of shock

  6. Heat loss

  7. Pain management

  8. Documentation and transfer of information

  9. Information and support

  10. Skills to be present in the multidisciplinary team.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Practice Guideline

Grant support

Funding: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence