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IAEM Publications 2020

IAEM Trauma Team Position Paper

Irish Association for Emergency Medicine

December 2020



Trauma is the leading cause of death and disability in the first four decades of life. A
Trauma Team (TT) is a multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals, working
collectively on the assessment and treatment of those who are severely injured. Care of
these patients requires a coordinated and integrated system of trauma care. The outcome
for critically ill trauma patients is optimised by the appropriate activation of a multidisciplinary
TT. This can reduce the time to accurate diagnosis and effective intervention, both of which
can influence whether the patient lives or dies.

The Major Trauma Audit (MTA) National Report 2018 captured data relating to 5,429 major
trauma patients in Ireland, however only 8% (n=425) of these patients were received by a
TT on arrival to hospital. Younger patients and those with more severe injuries were more
likely to be met by a TT. Currently, there are no accepted TT configurations or standardised
major trauma activation criteria in either the pre-hospital and hospital setting in Ireland. The
MTA recommended that a national definition and a standard for what should constitute a TT
and activation criteria for such a team are required.

The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine (IAEM) has acknowledged the principle of
the right patient being seen by the right person in the right hospital at the right time as being
“fundamental to the care of trauma patients” and notes that this can be achieved by
“ensuring that TTs with senior leadership are available to receive the injured trauma patient
at Emergency Departments (ED) so that the early intervention delivered is both safe and

Research shows that the most appropriate TT response is one that delivers optimal patient
care while minimising disruption to hospital activities. One such model is that of a tiered TT,
one to involve an internal ED team and for those that are more severely injured, access to a
Hospital TT for extended multidisciplinary input.

The aim of this document is a position paper for IAEM and the Emergency Medicine
Programme (EMP) that can be used for collaborative engagement with the National Trauma
Office as well as to engage with the key stakeholders including Surgery, Critical Care,
Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery and nursing amongst others to aid the development and roll
out of TTs for Ireland.

Download:      Trauma Team Position Paper


IAEM Recommendations for Resetting Care in Irish Emergency Departments

Irish Association for Emergency Medicine

June 2020



In response to COVID-19, IAEM issued a statement on Resetting Care in Ireland’s Emergency Departments on 12th May 2020.

The Association’s Recommendations for Resetting Care in Irish Emergency Departments have been made to ensure the safety of both patients and staff in our Emergency Departments (EDs) in the COVID-19 era and beyond.

COVID-19 has been, and will continue to be, a huge challenge for Ireland, made all the more difficult by longstanding and well flagged deficits in Irish healthcare, particularly the lack of bed capacity; infrastructure that is not fit for purpose and significant staffing constraints when compared with international comparators. Hopefully it has also brought some focus on the importance of public healthcare, accessible to all when they need it.

As we move from a pandemic to an endemic state, the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine believes it is imperative that, as experts in Emergency Medicine (EM), we set out our position on how care in Irish EDs and hospitals generally must be reset to allow EM to continue to care for those patients that need EM expertise in a way that is safe for patients and staff alike and produces the best possible outcomes for our patients.

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