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Major Trauma ‘Grand Sim 2017’

Today members of the HIOWAA Critical Care team took part in ‘Grand Sim 2017’, a unique event organised by the major trauma education team at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.   Clinicians from Southampton’s teaching hospitals joined forces with emergency services from across the region for a major incident training exercise involving doctors, nurses, paramedics, health care assistants and operating department practitioners.

Today’s large-scale simulation is based on a road traffic accident.  A van has swerved to avoid accidentally hitting a cat, and in doing so has caused a car to collide with a queue of pedestrians waiting for a bus.  There are multiple casualties, including a patient suffering from a serious head injury.  An upturned vehicle, sound effects, scenery and volunteer ‘casualties’ add to the authenticity of the scenario, which involves more than 100 participants.

Fire and ambulance crews are the first to attend the scene, providing initial life-saving treatment and triage.   Our own Critical Care team arrive on scene, liaising with the first crews on the scene in order to ensure that their major trauma pre-hospital skills are put to best use.

Our team are pictured below performing a general anaesthetic on the patient who has suffered a serious head injury –  this procedure is normally only undertaken in a hospital environment unless a specialist team such as the HIOWAA Critical Care team is available.  The patient also receives blood and plasma carried on board the Air Ambulance.   Paramedics then move casualties to the clinical skills training centre at University Hospital Southampton and hand them over to clinicians in the trauma team.

Grand Sim 2017 provided all teams involved with the opportunity to observe other roles and to test their skills in managing a major trauma patient.

Els Freshwater, advanced clinical practitioner in the emergency department at UHS and HIOWAA paramedic told us:

‘This year the event was based on a major road traffic collision, however, injuries and casualties could reflect a number of potential major incidents.  Today’s incident has been an invaluable opportunity for all emergency services to come together and test their skills and teamwork and to help us prepare for a major incident’.

Today’s event was organised by Els Freshwater and Dr Elizabeth Shewry, Major Trauma Education Leads at University Hospital Southampton and members of the HIOWAA Critical Care team.  Many of the faculty at the event were also members of the HIOWAA Critical Care team.

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