For a trauma team to run effectively there must be an identifiable leader who will direct the resuscitation, assess the priorities and make critical decisions.[xii] Good communication between the trauma team members is vital, as is ensuring that local senior staff are aware and can provide additional support if required.
Once the initial assessment and resuscitation is underway, is it important to plan the next steps in immediate management. Priorities for care must be based on sound clinical judgement, patient presentation and response to therapies. Awareness of limitations in resources as well as training in the emergency field is vital. If escalation of care to senior staff is warranted, then do so early in the patient care episode. Do not wait until the patient deteriorates to ask for assistance.
Frontline clinical staff should initiate contact with ARV early in the patient care pathway, or as soon as it is identified that the patient meets the major trauma transfer criteria or may have sustained injuries beyond the clinical skill set of the hospital or urgent care centre. ARV can be contacted at any time throughout the patient care episode to offer or coordinate clinical advice and consultation.
ARV coordinators can facilitate a three-way conversation between the referring health service, specialist clinical resources and an ARV consultant to discuss the best, timely management of the patient.