Emergency services become familiar with Alabama Trauma System

Published 12:03 am Saturday, April 4, 2009

Emergency dispatch workers and firefighters convened at the Selma Fire Inspector’s office on Friday to get up to speed on a new method to aid trauma victims.

Dallas County is in the process of converting to the Alabama Trauma System, a developing statewide network created from the Birmingham Regional Emergency Medical Services System. The ATS is a tool that will allow first responders to get patients to the appropriate facility in the least amount of time.

“[This] is going to reduce time of injury to treatment on patients by routing the patients to the correct facility or the best facility in a quicker manner,” said CARE Ambulance clinical coordinator Kevin Harralson. “Trauma is one of the leading causes of death from patients age 1 to 44. If we reduce time of injury to surgical intervention, we can reduce mortality.”

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The system will create a network of hospital resources, specializations and locations. First responders consult a checklist, make note of specific injuries and observations and put in a call to trauma center. In turn, the center can determine availability of resources and the appropriate medical facility to meet the patient’s needs.

“We’re wanting to put the county on the same page so we can all work as one to make sure that we’re all doing the best we can for the patients and the city of Dallas County,” said CARE Ambulance operational manager Dennis Poole.

Part of the reason for state-wide BREMSS adoption is the success it has experienced in Birmingham. In the 13 years the system has been in place, the trauma mortality rate has been reduced by 12 percent. It may experience more success in a rural area.

“We Involved city and county fire departments because they are the first responders a lot of times on trauma scenes,” said Poole. “The biggest thing we want is to reduce trauma deaths. I think we’ll see better results from this system in more rural areas than we would in the more urban areas.”