Time to CT and Surgery for HPB Trauma in Scotland Prior to the Introduction of Major Trauma Centres

P S McKechnie, D A Kerslake, R W Parks

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AIMS: To assess the time taken to CT and emergency surgery for trauma patients with an injury to liver, spleen or pancreas prior to the introduction of major trauma centres (MTCs) in Scotland.

METHODS: A search was performed of the Scottish Trauma Audit Group database for any patient with relevant injuries over a 2-year period. Primary outcome measures were time to CT and emergency surgery. Patient demographics were also recorded.

RESULTS: A total of 211 patients were identified of whom 23 had more than one organ affected. There were a total of 234 injuries (123 liver, 99 splenic and 12 pancreatic) in these patients. A total of 160 injuries (75.8%) suffered blunt trauma. Of 211 patients, 157 underwent emergency CT with a median time to scan of 73 min (range 4-474). Hospitals provisionally designated as MTCs were 9 min faster than non-MTCs in time to CT. There was no difference in time of day. Ninety-nine patients had surgery within 24 h at a median time of 200 min. Twenty-five patients with hypotension on presentation took a median time of 130 min. Only 44 patients (27%) had a CT or emergency surgery within the expected MTC target of 1 h. Thirty-nine patients required transfer to another centre.

CONCLUSIONS: Current management of patients with abdominal trauma and haemodynamic instability remains sub-optimal in Scotland when compared to recognized performance indicators of CT and emergency surgery within 1 h. Implementation of a major trauma network in Scotland should improve access to emergency radiology and surgery and efforts to shorten current timelines should improve patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number7
Early online date3 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • Journal Article


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