The principles of trauma radiology

Author(s): Dr Richard Clarke, Dr David Gay

Hospital: Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Reference: RAD Magazine, 42, 499, 19-12


Individuals who have sustained major trauma require a well led, efficient and cohesive multidisciplinary team to best manage their injuries. Having early and accurate knowledge of the injuries sustained allows correct and prompt management. Radiology, specifically multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), is now fundamental in managing almost all major trauma patients; it has been shown to reduce both mortality and morbidity and improves the probability of survival in polytrauma patients. The role of radiology in managing trauma patients is to provide a fast and accurate diagnosis of life or limb threatening injuries, identify sources of active bleeding, identify or exclude spinal injuries and identify the need for thoracic, abdominal or pelvic surgery. Imaging can also aid the difficult decision of when not to operate.

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