The role of diagnostic and interventional radiology in the severely injured patient

Author(s): Tarryn Carlsson, Dr Graham Collin

Hospital: Southmead Hospital

Reference: RAD Magazine, 45, 530, 20-21


Over the last two decades the management of the severely injured patient (SIP) in the UK and around the world has taken giant leaps towards improving patient outcomes. In 2000 the Royal College of Surgeons and British Orthopaedic Association published a document called Better Care for the Severely Injured Patient that recognised the need for immediate consultant input. However, it wasn’t until the National Confidential Enquiry into Peri-Operative Deaths (NECPOD) published data on trauma in 2007 that the integration of diagnostic and interventional radiology services would improve patient outcomes. Trauma networks throughout the UK now provide specialised care through centralisation of their expertise with a dedicated trauma team in charge of the severely injured patient in major trauma centres. The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) recommend that whole body contrast-enhanced multidetector CT imaging should be the default imaging procedure of choice, with the main aim of delineating the injuries and identifying sites of active bleeding to allow early decisions regarding patient treatment; this includes non-operative management (NOM), interventional radiology (IR) or damage control surgery (DCS).

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